Perpetrators of the frced disappearance of Celso Barajas are sentenced to 16 years in prison

Chihuahua, Chih., May 9th, 2022. Today, a hearing was held to individualize sanctions and restitution in the forced disappearance of Celso Francisco Barajas Olivas in Valle de Allende, Chihuahua, on February 22, 2017. The trial court sentenced each of the 5 police officers responsible for the crime to 16 years and 6 months.

The sentence, associated to the trial that started on February 8, proves the guilt of the agents and with it the involvement of the State; It also highlights that this law recognizes forced disappearance as a serious violation of human rights.

According to the report of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) presented on April 12, 2022, only between 2 and 6% of the cases of disappearance are brought to trial. Getting a conviction in such a critical context for this issue sets a precedent and demonstrates the need for adequate protocols to provide services, as well as for the victims to gain access to justice, truth and reparation.

The Centro de Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres, A.C. (Women’s Human Rights Center, CEDEHM) has taken on the representation and accompaniment of this case and has conducted the relevant procedures and requests before the Special Prosecutor for Human Rights Violations and Forced Disappearance Investigation; we acknowledge that the latter has followed prioritization criteria, which has been key to solve this particular case. We hope that in the future we can continue to coordinate efforts and that the progress made by the victims, such as the creation of said prosecutor’s office, can continue to make a contribution to the administration of justice.

We will continue to work to either locate or find out the whereabouts of Celso Barajas, since, as the sentence itslef acknowledges, it is the inalienable right of families and society to know the fate of disappeared individuals, since access to justice will always be partial and incomplete until they know about their loved ones.


On December 22, 2017, in the municipality of Valle de Allende, Chih., at approximately 11 p.m., the defendants, who at that time were municipal police officers, arrived at the home of the victim, Celso Francisco Barajas Olivas, where he was with his underage son.

The defendants broke into the home and forcefully subdued and handcuffed both the victim and his son; they took the victim out of the home and put him in an official municipal police patrol car, thus depriving him of his freedom. His whereabouts are unknown to this day.

Want to help us?

Mexico is a country that suffers from a lack of social justice and in which there is still a long way to go to guarantee human rights for all people. Our work is medullary in the demand for truth, justice, and reparation. Continuing this cause is work that cannot cease and doing so requires solidarity and support. If you want to contribute to our cause, you can make your donation through PayPal.

Make a donation

Contact us

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we advise you remotely on cell phones: (614) 132.91.04 & (614) 255.03.05, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. (CUU).

    Av. Juárez 4107-B Col. Centro, Chihuahua, Chih., México, C.P. 31000

    Teléfono: (614) 415 41 52