Coronavirus
Demonstrators held a second protest Wednesday. Demonstrators held a second protest Wednesday.

2 days of protests in Chiapas over doctor arrested for death of Covid patient

Authorities said the arrest was in line with the 'fight against corruption'

More than 200 health care workers and residents of Acala, Chiapas, took to the streets for a second time Wednesday to demand the release of Dr. Gerardo Vicente Grajales Yuca, who was arrested last weekend for abuse of authority related to the death of a coronavirus patient.

Marchers gathered in front of city hall to demand his release, calling his arrest “unfair” and “arbitrary.”

Supporters of Grajales, head of emergency and critical medicine at a government-run hospital in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, say the imprisoned doctor had asked the family of Miguel Arturo Ramírez López, a former state politician, to purchase a medication that wasn’t readily available in the hospital, but the man died on July 7. 

His daughter, Karen Alejandra Ramírez Molin, filed a complaint with police on July 17. Authorities took the cardiologist into custody on Sunday evening, announcing that his arrest occurred “within the framework” of the fight against corruption.

Antonio Juárez Navarro, the doctor’s lawyer, explained to local media that the Covid-19 patient did not have social security, so treatment could have been denied. However, Grajales agreed to treat him anyway but simply did not have access to the necessary medication.  

During yesterday’s protest, which was live-streamed on social media, one resident stated, “Acala demands justice and immediate freedom for Dr. Grajales Yuca, immediate freedom for our distinguished emergency doctor who is (detained) simply for saving lives, a doctor who is dedicated to working humbly and with dignity in this pandemic.”

Presidents of more than 10 medical associations, sent a letter to President López Obrador saying that medical personnel are being unfairly blamed for deficiencies in the country’s health system.

The letter called the arrest of Grajales “violent, abusive and illegal,” rejecting the claim by the Chiapas Attorney General’s Office that the doctor was guilty of abuse of authority.

Another protest demanding the release of Grajales is being planned for Friday in front of Mexico City’s National Palace.

Source: La Jornada (sp), El Heraldo de México (sp), Infobae (sp), SDP Noticias (sp)

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