The disappearance of eight people in Chapala, Jalisco, in the past week has local residents demanding more accountability and more results from police and from Governor Enrique Alfaro to solve the 31 missing-persons cases reported so far this year.
Such cases have been on the rise in in the municipality in 2020. The 31 cases recorded with the state Attorney General’s Office is already the number recorded in all of 2019.
A case currently grabbing attention in the media involves a young Mexican couple who disappeared June 9. Witnesses saw Griselda Gutiérrez Rodríguez, 28, and Ángel Adán Martínez, 26, being forced to abandon their vehicle by four armed men on the road that connects the communities of Santa Cruz de la Soledad and Ixtlahuacán. The men took off with the couple in another vehicle.
The two are artists who worked part-time jobs at their family’s private school in Ajijic and ran their own tattoo studio and smoke shop in Chapala. They were reported missing by family members on June 10 after Gutiérrez’s sister, Elizabeth Rodríguez, had received an anonymous call informing her that Gutiérrez’s truck was sitting abandoned on the side of the road.
Rodríguez told media outlets that she believes local and state authorities have done nothing to investigate her sister’s case, nor the cases of the 29 other people reported missing throughout the municipality this year because people are afraid to speak up.
“Nobody has said anything out of fear, because they threaten you,” she told the online news site Animal Político in a story on Monday. “But the moment has arrived to raise our voice, to keep silent no longer, to say what is happening in Chapala, because first it was my sister, but tomorrow it could be my son.”
She also told the news site that she and other residents of Chapala planned to stage a march to the city’s Municipal Palace and a demonstration in front of Casa Jalisco, the governor’s residence in Guadalajara, to demand more accountability from local and state officials.