Marcos González Díaz
BBC News World correspondent in Mexico
April, 17th, 2023
According to official figures, Mexico has more than 110,000 missing people. Cases with happy endings represent a small ray of hope for many families that could be reunited with their loved ones. This happened to Lorena Ramírez, whose daughter Juana disappeared no less than 27 years ago and who, just over six months ago, she embraced again. Despite all the time that passed, the woman says she never lost hope of finding that three-year-old girl and that she never thought she was not still alive.
And although now in her 50s, she looks to the future with optimism; tears inevitably run down her cheeks as she recalls her life without her daughter and not knowing what would become of her. After their reunion last year achieved significant repercussions in Mexico, Ramírez shared her story with BBC Mundo about her relationship with her daughter months after reuniting and how she plans to recover their lives. This is her testimony.
Until October 1, 1995, we were an average family. Our daughter Juana was born three years earlier and was a joy. She grew up like any baby. At home, she was very talkative, but outside, she was very sullen with people. She wouldn’t leave with just anyone. I remember everything about her. She loved singing “De América yo soy” and loved fried pork chops. But it was a very short stage… You don’t know what can happen. But we enjoyed her three years as much as possible.
That day in 1995, we decided to walk in the Chapultepec forest in Mexico City with my husband, Juana, my other two older children, and my husband’s relatives. We went to the zoo, sat down to eat, and my children played… Everything went normally.
But when we were about to leave, my husband would bring my young daughter by the right hand and me by the left. We made a circle to say goodbye to other people, and I momentarily let go of my daughter. It turns out that my husband did it too, and I immediately saw that she was gone. I don’t know if it was a mother’s hunch, but I assumed at the time that my daughter had just been stolen.
To read the full article in Spanish:
Photo by Marcos González / BBC