Mexican rights worker kidnapped; 2nd attack in a week

MEXICO CITY - Assailants kidnapped an official of the human rights office of the western Mexico state of Jalisco Friday, the second attack on rights workers in less than a week.

The country's National Human Rights Commission called on authorities to locate the official, whom the commission did not name.

Local news media said gunmen stopped the official as he was driving to the offices of the state rights commission and apparently abducted him.

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.


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