SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico – Hundreds of health workers from the Mexican state of Chiapas marched on Sunday to demand the release of doctor Gerardo Vicente Grajales Yuca, who was under house arrest accused of abuse of authority.
His colleagues and other health professionals demonstrated in the capital city of Chiapas, Tuxtla Gutierrez, to demand justice and freedom without repercussions for the doctor.
The march began at Government House, in the central square of Tuxtla Gutierrez, where they held a rally in favor of their colleague who is currently facing criminal proceedings, although the state prosecutor’s office pointed out that this does not mean that the investigations against him have been concluded.
According to the investigation folder of the State Attorney General’s Office, at the beginning of July, Grajales Yuca, as a public servant, asked relatives of the politician Miguel Arturo Ramirez for equipment and supplies to treat COVID-19 patients, when the hospital, according to the State Secretary of Health, had the necessary medicines and equipment.
During the march in Chiapas, health professionals pointed out the lack of supplies and demanded the supply of state hospitals with medicines, in addition to hiring trained personnel and improving the health system.
They also denounced the lack of personal protective equipment to tend to the health emergency due to COVID-19 in the organization.
The president of the San Cristobal de Las Casas Pediatric Association, Victor Flores Cruz, told EFE that the action “is meant to raise awareness among people. To let them know that we also feel, that we are also afraid of infecting our relatives and the equipment that we have, we had to buy it.”
They also said that hospitals give them low-quality masks and equipment “and most of our colleagues invested part of our salary to buy quality equipment that is expensive.”
Meanwhile, doctor Benjamin Condopo Dominguez denounced the lack of materials, human resources and supplies to carry out hospital activities and requested more tests for COVID-19.
Both of them claimed that hundreds of doctors are unjustly accused for political interests and demanded an end to the criminalization of health sector personnel.
Another march in support of Grajales Yuca took place in Mexico City, which started from the Monument to the Revolution and ended in the capital’s Zocalo plaza.
In the demonstration, Grajales Yuca through a recorded message from Chiapas, highlighted the work of the health personnel.
“I have heard the different cases against the health personnel union. We are not criminals, we are not offenders, we are not murderers,” said the accused doctor.
He pointed out that despite the facts that have been handed down against him, he is innocent. “While I am not a hero, at least what I need is to have my innocence proven.”
Health professionals in the capital also demanded the freedom of the doctor and called on their colleagues and the general public to prevent health personnel from continuing to be attacked and to value the work they do in hospitals.
In addition to the demonstrations in Chiapas and Mexico City, there were also protests of health workers in the states of Morelos, Puebla, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Tamaulipas and Jalisco.