A prominent border activist has been missing since Thursday after putting up an unsettling Facebook Live video from a freeway near Mexico City, rattling the tightly knit border community and spurring pleas for help from his family.
Humanitarian aid worker Hugo Castro, 45, is from San Diego but lives in Tijuana, where he directs the Baja California chapter of Border Angels. He has pressured the Mexican government to help both the recently deported and the thousands of Haitian people who are either waiting for asylum in the United States or who have decided to settle into everyday life just south of the border. Castro had been receiving death threats, he said, which had recently been ratcheting up.
Castro had been traveling to participate in the Viacrusis de Refugiados,a refugee caravan traveling from the Guatemalan border to Tijuana in order to bring more attention to the plight of refugees and displaced peoples. Castro was waylaid between Mexico City and Puebla. In the last video he recorded before his April 13 disappearance, Castro gave his coordinates and asked for help, saying he had little money and that his phone was about to lose power:
Castro’s partner and fellow aid worker Gaba Cortes said that she is doing all she can to find him. “We don’t know anything more at the moment,” she said, and asked people to spread the word about Castro in order to pressure both the United States’ and Mexico’s government to step up the search.
Cortes will be traveling to Mexico City to look for Castro. Anyone who wishes to donate to her search can do so via PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org.