Last weekend, Chiapas authorities arrested Dr. Gerardo Vicente Grajales Yuca , who was working in a hospital treating COVID-19 patients. Later, authorities announced a judge bound the doctor over for trial over abuse of power charges.

Authorities arrested the doctor in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, who currently remains in prison.

Dozens of people were outside the courthouse during the hearing in Chiapa de Corzo, including his family and fellow healthcare doctors, who showed support and solidarity to the doctor.

Dr. Gerardo Vicente Grajales’s two lawyers said he is a “political prisoner” because the judge allegedly ignored the evidence presented by them. They said they would file a writ of amparo because there is no legal reason to bound the doctor over for trial.


Days later Chiapas ’ Attorney General, Jorge Luis Llaven Abarca, said state authorities launched a new investigation against Dr. Grajales Yuca.

During a press conference, Llaven Abarca presented a video that shows a COVID-19 patient identified as José Gustavo Cervantes Yáñez, who says the doctor requested money in exchange for medical attention at the public hospital.

The woman who filed a lawsuit against the Chiapas doctor is Miguel Arturo Ramírez López’s daughter. Ramírez López was mayor three times and was the leader of a local political party. He died after contracting COVID-19. According to the investigation, the man arrived at the hospital on June 21 and Dr. Grajales Yuca treated him.

Doctors discharged him from the hospital on June 25 but he returned on June 26. While the patient was at the intensive care unit, the doctor was in touch with Ramírez López’s family through WhatsApp and in person.

Ramírez López’s argues the doctor asked them to purchase medical equipment and supplies worth between MXN 1,700 and MXN 42,000. The family also argues that Grajales Yuca asked for medicine and offered to apply it to the patient on the condition that they would later purchase the medicine. The patient’s daughter said the doctor lasciviously looked at her. The woman added that the doctor asked her to purchase the medicine because there was a national shortage and because it wasn’t available at the hospital .

Chiapas’ Health Ministry said the hospital had the required medicine and equipment to treat COVID-19 patients.

On June 29, Chiapas healthcare workers came together to demand the immediate release of Dr. Gerardo Vicente Grajales Yuca.

Hundreds of doctors protested while maintaining physical distance and wore face masks and face shields. They said the doctor was the victim of false accusations and that he was charged with crimes that don’t exist.

The doctors also denounced the lack of equipment, supplies, and PPE at Chiapas’ health system.

On August 1, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) launched an investigation into the case since Chiapas authorities might have violated the doctor’s human rights.

According to the CNDH, one of the doctor’s relatives reported that since the arrest, the Chiapas Attorney General’s Office had violated his human rights.


Gerardo Vicente Grajales Yuca’s arrest

Dr. Gerardo Vicente Grajales Yuca focused on his work in March when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Mexico.

He was in charge of the COVID-19 area at the Issstech hospital. He moved into the hospital to treat his patients.

He rarely went home to sleep, eat, or take a shower.

In an interview, his wife said she thought the doctor was about to collapse since be slept between two and three hours a day.

The woman said Dr. Grajales Yuca was under emotional strain because he couldn’t spend much this with her and their 6-month-old baby. He was also concerned over the lack of hospital beds to treat COVID-19 patients, as well as the lack of supplies and medicines.

The shortages reach such levels that one of the healthcare workers’ relative contracted the virus, all of them raised money to purchase medicines.


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