A young farmer in southern Mexico has set himself on fire outside the Chiapas state legislature building to demand the release of his father, an indigenous leader who was arrested last year on charges stemming from a series of demonstrations in 2011 that turned violent.

Agustin Gomez Perez lay down and allowed another protester to douse him with gasoline and set it alight Friday in the state capital. His stepmother, Araceli Diaz, says he is "serious but stable" condition with second- and third-degree burns.

Gomez Perez and other indigenous farmers have been protesting last year's jailing of his father, Florentino Gomez Giron. The father is charged with murder, stealing cattle, organized crime and causing 39 families to flee the Ixtapa municipality as a result of leading protests in 2011.