A human rights official in the Mexican state of Jalisco was found alive Saturday, a day after his apparent kidnapping generated worries about the safety of rights workers in the country.
A statement from Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission called the news “encouraging,” adding that the investigation into what happened would continue. The statement did not name the official or provide details of how he was found.
Authorities said gunmen stopped the official on Friday as he was driving to the offices of the state rights commission and apparently kidnapped him.
It was the second attack on rights workers in less than a week. On Monday, gunmen in Baja California Sur state shot to death the head of that state’s human rights commission, Silvestre de la Toba Camacho and his son as they were driving.
The head of the federal commission, Luis Gonzalez Perez, said this week that the heads of three of the country’s 31 state commissions had received threats. But no commission head had ever been assassinated before Monday.
“Of course we are worried, as any human being would be,” Gonzalez Perez said of the attacks.
It is not clear who is behind any of the attacks or threats. The commissions have the power to issue non-binding recommendations about abuses by public servants, including police, prison guards and others.
Each state in Mexico has a governmental rights commission, and there is also one in Mexico City and one on the federal level.
Civilian rights activists have borne the brunt of the attacks; since 2006, 34 activists have been killed. Many of them had been active in efforts to locate people “disappeared” by crime gangs.