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Hugo Castro Family Fights for Transfer to US Hospital, Citing Danger in Mexico

Jean Guerrero - KPBS
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April 21, 2017

Hugo Castro, Gaba Cortes and their son pictured with Alejandro Solalinde (C), a famous Mexican priest and human rights activist (Gaba Cortes/Facebook)

Update: Hugo Castro Returns to San Diego, Recovering from Injuries (KPBS)

The family of Hugo Castro, a San Diego activist and U.S. citizen whose disappearance has captured international attention, has launched a campaign to bring him back to the U.S. so he can receive medical treatment in a San Diego hospital, saying he "remains in danger" in Mexico.

Castro was transferred Thursday to a Red Cross hospital in Polanco, an upscale Mexico City neighborhood, after two days of receiving medical treatment at Red Cross facilities in the towns of Tlalnepantla de Baz and Naucalpán in the State of Mexico, where he was found covered in mysterious wounds.

"He is far from safe," wrote his sister, Noemi Castro, on GoFundMe. "Hugo appears to have been the victim of a serious crime ... due to his precarious medical condition, and the very real possibility that his life remains in danger, it is urgent that Hugo obtain secure paramedic transportation back to the United States as soon as possible."

What happened to Castro remains unclear. But Castro's partner, Gaba Cortes, told KPBS on Thursday — a few hours before the transfer to a Polanco hospital — that she feared for her life as well as Castro's because the circumstances surrounding his recovery were "very suspicious," particularly the fact Mexican investigators found Castro within hours of her arrival in the Mexican capital.

...Cortes and other people close to Castro have said they believe he was targeted because of his activism. He had received multiple death threats in recent months because of his work to protect vulnerable migrants, a main source of profit for drug cartels that have diversified into human trafficking and kidnapping for ransom. They are often targeted by corrupt Mexican police as well.

Enrique Morones, founder of Border Angels, said he is working with multiple high-ranking U.S. and Mexican officials to secure Castro's transfer to the U.S. Morones is also the godfather of Castro's son.

Morones explained that he is trying to get a temporary humanitarian parole visa for Cortes, who is not a U.S. citizen, so she can continue to be by her partner's side while he recovers in a U.S. hospital.

Read the rest at KPBS

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