Apr 21, 2017
Activist Hugo Castro was propelled into the spotlight after he posted an unsettling Facebook Live video from the side of a freeway near Mexico City. In it, he said his life was in danger. After he shot the video, Castro disappeared for nearly five days before he was finally found, wounded on a street in Tlalnepantla de Baz, a city in the state of Mexico.
KPBS border reporter Jean Guerrero has been keeping a close eye on the story. She had recently followed Castro, the volunteer coordinator for nonprofit Border Angels, as he bought and delivered supplies to migrant shelters in Tijuana.
Guerrero joined podcast hosts Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts this week to talk about the harrowing details of Castro's saga.
She said she had just talked to Castro's partner, Gaba Cortes, who said she wanted to get Castro to a hospital in the United States as quickly as possible because she's concerned about his safety.
Guerrero also offered some insight into who might be behind Castro's ordeal. There's still a lot of uncertainty at this point, but she said organized crime in Mexico could be to blame.
"Migrants are one of the main sources of income for drug cartels who have, over the past 10 years, largely diversified into things like human trafficking and kidnapping," Guerrero said.
Also on the podcast, Lewis and Keatts discussed District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis' announcement this week that she's stepping down from her post in July so she can possibly run for a seat on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. She's already hand-picked her successor.
The two also talked about Ry Rivard's story about how Emerson-Bandini Elementary School's plumbing needs were held up to voters as one of the reasons they should approve tax hikes to fund school repairs, yet those repairs still haven't happened. In the meantime, alarming levels of toxic chemicals have been found in the drinking water at Emerson-Bandini.
Castro earned the recognition this week for his work on behalf of migrants.
The latest census of San Diego’s homeless population makes clear that the issue need more attention than ever. While there is some urgency building around the homeless problem, it isn't enough and city and county leaders must do more.