Social Issues

Kin of Mexico’s 70,000 missing march for “justice and memory”

By Juan Manuel Ramírez G.

Mexico City, Aug 5 (efe-epa).- Relatives of some of Mexico’s more than 73,000 missing persons gathered here Wednesday for their monthly procession aimed at keeping the plight of their loved ones in the public eye and demanding action from the government.

Around 11.00 am, the score of participants in the August edition of the “March for Memory and Justice” set out from Mexico City’s Constitution Square.

“It is a peaceful walk. We will be present the first Wednesday of each month outside the home of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and our objective is that he hears us and responds to us,” Patricia Manzanares tells Efe.

Her son, Federal Police office Juan Hernandez, went missing Feb. 20, 2011, in northern Mexico.

As of last month, according to official statistics, Mexico has accumulated 73,201 unsolved missing persons cases since 1964, all but 1,523 of which date from 2006. While the process of identifying more than 30,000 bodies recovered from nearly 4,000 clandestine graves drags on.

“The victims have the right to be sought and we need for them to be sought,” Manzanares said.

Recalling that Lopez Obrador made promises to the families of the missing during the 2018 campaign, she said of the president: “we trusted him, we voted for him and he has failed us.”

Relatives of the missing say they want a face-to-face meeting with Lopez Obrador, as their talks with Government Secretary Olga Sanchez Cordero and other senior officials have not led to any progress.

“Passivity has been normalized,” the group said in a statement. “Nobody is searching for our thousands of missing loved ones, nor does the will exist to carry out the actions necessary to find them.”

Thousands have died from Covid-19, “but in Mexico we have been suffering the pandemic of the disappeared for many years and no one has stopped it,” the statement said.

Aidee Hernandez is looking for her daughter, Natalie Carmona, last seen in January 2019 in Mexico City. Authorities followed the trail to the central state of Puebla, but 18 months later, they are no closer to finding out what became of Natalie.

“Time passes and one thinks ‘will my case not be solved, like thousands of other cases?,'” Hernandez said.

“The authorities are incompetent and indolent, they don’t have empathy with your pain and they are not prepared for those jobs. You get the feeling your case doesn’t matter to them. But I will persist until the end, until I find my daughter, with or without the support of the authorities,” she told Efe. EFE jmrg/dr

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