19th Feb UPDATE - Obtilia Eugenio Manuel and Hilario Cornelio Castro were released alive on Saturday the 16th of February at 5am. They are with their families and are well. PBI is very grateful for all the immediate actions taken by supporters.
On 12 February, Mexican Indigenous human rights defenders, Obtilia Eugenio Manuel and Hilario Cornelio Castro disappeared while traveling through Guerrero state, southwest Mexico. They were both members of the Organization of Indigenous Mepha'a People (OPIM, Organización del Pueblo Indígena Mepha'a). Since 2009, due to their human rights work, Obtilia Eugenio and other OPIM members have received several attacks and threats, including death threats. Obtilia Eugenio was recently elected member of the Indigenous Municipal Council of the Ayutlade los Librestown (Guerrero state).
Obtilia Eugenio Manuel is a founder and one of the leaders of the Organization of Indigenous Mepha'a People (OPIM, Organización del Pueblo Indígena Mepha'a). Her organization works for the protection of human rights of the Mepha'a Indigenous People and had participated in emblematic cases such as the case of Inés Fernández Ortega, who was subjected to torture by military personnel in Guerrero state in 2002 and whose case has decided by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in a 2010-judgment condemning Mexico. Members of OPIM have faced attacks and intimidation in past years and since 2009. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered the Mexican state to provide Obtilia Eugenio Manuel, her family and othermembers of OPIM with effective protection measures and to investigate the attacks in 2009.