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Ricardo Arturo Lagunes Gasca

HRD, lawyer, Founder
Asesoría y Defensa Legal del Sureste

Ricardo Arturo Lagunes Gasca is a lawyer from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) with a Master's Degree in Human Rights Protection from the University of Alcalá (Madrid, Spain) and has worked as a human rights lawyer in the southeast and west of the country for more than 15 years.

Ricardo Arturo Lagunes Gasca is also founder of Asesoría y Defensa Legal del Sureste and has a long national and international trajectory in the defense of collective rights and ejido and communal lands against megaprojects, dispossession and human rights violations. He has accompanied several legal disputes in states such as Chiapas, Oaxaca, Yucatan and Campeche where he has achieved the protection of thousands of hectares of collective lands, valuable ecosystems and collective rights, especially of indigenous communities. He has also achieved the protection of the rights of indigenous communities before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.


Human rights defenders (HRDs) and journalists in Mexico are subject to intimidation, legal harassment, arbitrary detention, death threats, acts of physical aggression, enforced disappearances and killings as a result of their activities in defence of human rights and the exercise of freedom of expression and journalism.

Disappearances are endemic in Mexico, often happening with collusion from the state. HRDs working on the issue face serious risk, up to and including death. HRDs working in the defence of territory, particularly indigenous territory, face a similar level of risk. They are criminalised, imprisoned, defamed, and often killed. Journalists working on any of these issues, or issues related to the drugs trade and the government's complicity in this, also run the risk of losing their lives.