Mothers of Mexico's disappeared march on Mother's Day

Mothers of Mexico's disappeared march on Mother's Day

Mothers searching for their missing sons and daughters demand justice

By Jorge Antonio Rocha

MEXICO CITY (AA) - Mothers whose children are missing took to the streets in Mexico on Wednesday, demanding answers from the authorities as the country marked Mother’s Day.

Joining activists and members of social movements, they took part in the “XII March for National Dignity, Mothers looking for their sons, daughters, truth and justice,” an annual gathering protesting enforced disappearances in Mexico, the suffering that follows, and the impunity and injustice that encompass them.

The marchers took to the main avenue of the capital, Mexico City. Mothers from throughout the country as well as Central and South America demonstrated since early morning, carrying banners.

Demonstrations and events were also held in other states in support of victims of violence in the country and their families. In the city of Iguala in Guerrero state, a mass was carried out, while various groups gathered to remember 43 college students who were “disappeared” by the military and gangs in Iguala more than eight years ago.

Demonstrations in states in southern Mexico such as Oaxaca and on Mexico's eastern coast in Veracruz were also reported on Mother's Day.

The disappearance of people in Mexico has grown into a humanitarian crisis. In 2022, Mexico surpassed 100,000 disappeared persons, while there are currently more than 112,000 missing in the country.

According to investigations by journalists, disappearances in Mexico have risen sharply in the last 17 years.

Following the War on Drugs in 2006, the government launched a military strategy that led to increased violence by criminal syndicates in Mexico and destabilized local governments, making them susceptible to corruption. From 2006 until 2022, the number of missing persons increased by 4,086%.

Disappearances tend to affect the more vulnerable groups in society, with teenage girls particularly susceptible, with such cases amounting to double the rate compared with adolescent boys in most states.

Among adults, however, men are the ones who disappear the most. Out of every 100 people who have gone missing in the country, 75 are men and 25 are women.

Unfortunately, mothers and activists are not immune to retaliation for reporting disappearances. Collectives and social groups have reported cases of harassment, threats and intimidation as they search for the disappeared.

The government has reportedly granted protection measures for 120 members of groups searching for missing persons, including 89 women.

Since 2021, seven mothers searching for their missing children have been murdered in Mexico.

On average, 26 people disappear every day in Mexico. ​​​​​​​

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