Hugo Sánchez is a Mazahua indigenous youth who was arbitrarily detained and falsely accused of kidnapping by the Attorney General’s Office of the state of Mexico (PGJEM) and of gun possession by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR). After a dual trial process that lasted more than two years, he was sentenced without any real evidence to 37 years and six months of prison for the first charge and to five years for the second charge, based on false accusations made by ministerial police officers.
In their search to free Hugo, his relatives approached the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center (Center Prodh), which thoroughly analyzed his case and undertook an exhaustive documentation process, confirming Hugo’s innocence and the numerous irregularities in his trials. Center Prodh decided to take on the case of Hugo because it is emblematic of the structural problems that afflict the Mexican justice system and the particular vulnerability of certain social groups in that system. In this sense, historically excluded ethnic groups and social classes continue to suffer from discrimination at the hands of law enforcement officials.
Hugo regained his freedom through a favorable Supreme Court decision in 2012, after five years of unjust imprisonment.