The Citizen Council of the National Search System asks the US to help address disappearances in Mexico.

Editorial Aristegui Noticias / SBH

October 16th, 2022

By Karina Cancino

Members of the Citizen Council of the National Search System, and the National Movement for Our Disappeared in Mexico, met with US authorities to request support with resources, training, experts, and political relations to intervene with Mexican authorities to address disappearances and forensic identification of people.

The coordinator of the National Citizen Council, Virginia Garay Cázares, met with US members of Congress, including Jesús ‘Chuy’ García, of Mexican origin representing Illinois. They explained that there are more than 106,000 missing people in Mexico and that in addition to the disappearance, the forensic crisis, impunity persists in the country without the capacity of local authorities to address these issues.

The search group requested the Mexican prosecutor Alejandro Gertz Manero to discuss these issues within the framework of binational activities, the Mexico-United States High-Level Security Dialogue.

The National Movement for Our Disappeared in Mexico is also In Washington to receive the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award for human rights defenders. Members of the Movement took the opportunity to dialogue with political representatives who attended the High-Level Security Dialogue and presented these circumstances. They also called for an end to firearms sales in the United States because it affects Mexico’s security. Virginia Garay called on Mexican authorities, so that next year’s budget for the National Search Commission and all the organic instruments to address the problem of disappearances in Mexico become more significant and more evident in terms of their work.

To read full report in Spanish:

Relatives of the disappeared massively search for human remains in El Ajusco area in Mexico City

Raúl Axel Mendoza Gutiérrez / Noticieros Televisa / October 7th, 2022

El Ajusco, a wooded area, located south of Mexico City, is used to get rid of victims of feminicide and homicide. In the last two years, the bodies of at least 11 women have been found dead in El Ajusco. The middle part of El Ajusco is considered a clandestine grave. Therefore relatives of the disappeared went into this coniferous forest, where the vegetation and loneliness of the places cover up abandoned bodies. Among ravines, mud and fallen trees, the relatives of missing persons carried out a massive search for human remains.

Mayte Valadez, the founder of the collective “Guerreras Buscadoras de Sonora”, reported: “We already worked here yesterday, and there was a positive finding of skeletal remains; El Ajusco is such a beautiful place, so beautiful, that one would never imagine that it is a clandestine grave. We found a skull and a jaw.”

At 78 years old, Don José does not stop looking for his niece Josefina Díaz, who disappeared eight years ago in Iztapalapa, Mexico City. José Díaz, a relative of the disappeared, commented: “I believe she might be here. We brought iron sticks to dig into the land; yes, one gets tired, but it turns out that the need to find your relative makes you go on.”

To read full report in Spanish:

Thousands marched to demand justice for the 43 normalistas of Ayotzinapa

Relatives, students, collectives, and members of civil society joined the demonstration to commemorate the eighth year of that unfortunate night in Iguala

Baruc Mayen / Infobae / September 27, 2022

Eight years after that tragic night in Iguala, the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students’ relatives continue searching for the truth and justice in the case.

Despite the uncertainty, the families of the students and their fellow students maintain their conviction to fight to have the answers they need. Around seven thousand people marched – according to official figures from the Secretariat of Government of Mexico City – from the Angel of Independence to the Zócalo downtown. The mobilization began minutes after 4:00 p.m. Among some classic slogans of these demonstrations, the attendees chanted, “September 26 is not forgotten”, “Quiet student will never be heard,” and “They were taken alive, alive we want them!”.

One of the elements to highlight today’s march was the low police presence during the first hours, which contrasted with the usual deployment of police officers on the sides of avenues such as Paseo de la Reforma, Juárez, and 5 de Mayo. On this occasion, those who accompanied the demonstrators from the beginning were members of the Rescue and Medical Emergencies Squad (ERUM) and personnel from the Ministry of Interior, headed by Martí Batres.

To read full report in Spanish:

Las y los familiares de los estudiantes desaparecidos continúan en la búsqueda de la verdad y la justicia.  (Foto: Baruc Mayen/Infobae México)

Las y los familiares de los estudiantes desaparecidos continúan en la búsqueda de la verdad y la justicia. (Photo: Baruc Mayen/Infobae México)

A march will be held in honor of the disappeared in Ayotzinapa.

The Global Action for Chihuahua movement organizes the march.

Alejandra Sánchez/El Diario

September 26, 2022

Chihuahua, Chih.- To remember and commemorate the 43 who disappeared in Ayotzinapa; today, at 4:30 in the afternoon, there will be a march, which will depart from the Glorieta de Pancho Villa to the Plaza del Ángel. This event, organized by Global Action for Ayotzinapa, aims not to forget the victims and join the demand for justice that today commemorates eight years.

Upon arriving at the square, there will be a socio-political rally. Meanwhile, in the Rural Normal “Ricardo Flores Magón” of Saucillo, a floral offering will be made on the esplanade of the school and in the Plaza del Santuario de Delicias, where white flowers and candles will be placed for the disappeared companions.

Every September 26, a demonstration is held in Mexico City demanding the clarification of the case of the 43 disappeared students of the Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School that is located in the Municipality of Tixtla, State of Guerrero. The parents of the disappeared students lead the marches, and thousands of people participate in it along with the relatives of the disappeared students and social and political organizations that unify their claim to the cry of “Alive they took them! We want them alive!”


“I’m looking for my dad”: the video of children digging to find their missing relatives in Mexico.

In an emotional video published on Saturday, a group of children takes sticks and hoes to an area of Jalisco, Mexico, where they found human remains. In this country, there are more than 100,000 missing people. This is the story behind the video.

Isaías Alvarado / September 17 2022 / Univision Noticias

It was a spontaneous action that occurred this Saturday in Tlaquepaque, in the Mexican state of Jalisco, where they found the charred remains of a person. Volunteers and groups searching for the missing paused while a bulldozer worked. During that break, several children took shovels and hoes to continue removing the earth’s surface.

“I’m looking for my dad,” was the response given by one of them to Ceci Flores, leader of the collective Madres Buscadoras de Sonora, who shared a video on Twitter that recorded the emotional participation of the minors. Ceci Flores said: “In my country, children join the searches for missing parents.”

“It is an unfortunate thing to see so many children there. We began to see that children arrived and grabbed shovels, picks, to start removing the bricks they took out of the earth,” Flores described in an interview with Univision Noticias.

 “Suddenly, it was four, five children, and then more children using shovels and taking turns because they got tired. When one of them got tired, another grabbed the shovel. They were all victims,” the activist lamented. She was also moved that a girl was collaborating without having any missing relatives. “Children show solidarity, empathy, and desire to support their peers,” she said.

To read the entire article in Spanish and watch the video:

Children in search of relatives, the other side of disappearances in Mexico

DANIEL ALONSO EL PAÍS Mexico – 01 SEPT 2022 – 20:13 CDT

A report tells the stories of children whose relatives disappeared; these children search for their relatives due to the authorities’ inaction.

Fernando was five years old when he participated in his first search. Now he is ten and still remembers: “My uncle told me that a person was buried there, and we dug it up, and yes, there he was. We dug with a pick and a shovel. I didn’t think anything, I just thought about the person, that they had buried him and he was tied up and had three bullets. […] He was tortured. But I’m not scared anymore.”

This is one of the testimonies collected in the report Childhood Counts 2022: Children and Disappearances, carried out by the Network for the Rights of Children in Mexico (REDIM), a coalition of 72 civil organizations distributed in 18 states of the nation that has been operating since 1995. The report presented on August 30, on the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance, has two parts. The first focuses on missing children and adolescents.

The second part of the report shows the other side of the coin: children born into families who struggle with the disappearance of a brother, a father, or an uncle.  Many of these families are forced to search for their loved ones due to the inaction of the authorities.

Tania Ramírez, director of REDIM, assures that “the disappearance crisis leaves the problem to the families of the victims. Today, disappearances, particularly, those of children and adolescents, suffer invisibility, including stigma, and silence that mourns families.”

Relatives of the disappeared during a mass at the Cathedral of Guadalajara. ROBERTO ANTILLON

Disappeared in Mexico, a problem of the past and the present

Los Ángeles Times


August 30, 2022, 2:20 PM PT

MEXICO CITY — In small groups across Mexico, relatives of more than 100,000 who disappeared demanded law enforcement effectiveness and the search for their loved ones.

Guillermo Fernández Maldonado, a representative of the United Nations Office for Human Rights, who participated in one of the marches in the capital said the figures recognized by authorities are “really huge.” He warned that “it is not something that we talked about in the past, but (that) they are serious situations that continue to happen every day.”

On the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance, families once again walked along emblematic avenues of Mexico City with photographs of their loved ones.

They demand the government comply with the recommendations presented in April by the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances, which, among other measures, called for combating impunity that it described as “almost absolute” and “structural.” The Committee also urged the authorities to recognize all forms of State responsibility, whether for direct action or for complicity or omission in disappearances carried out by organized crime, which is the main perpetrator.

The most internationally known case is the 43 teaching students who disappeared in 2014 in southern Mexico. Still, they’re the lost ones. The families ask to comply with search protocols during the first hours of disappearance; the importance is to locate someone and ask for greater coordination between institutions. Although the federal government has advanced in legislation and search, it does not always have the support of state governments. The collectives that support the victims also reminded the government that more funds are needed to search and advance the extraordinary forensic identification mechanism that had just begun in three states. They also call for the launch of the National Forensic Data Bank, which, by law, should already be operational.

Families from Mexico and Central America weave solidarity networks to strengthen the search for their loved ones.

On August 27 and 28, the First Regional Conference was held in Guatemala and brought together 45 relatives of disappeared persons.



Guatemala City. In the framework of the International Day of Missing Persons, commemorated on August 30, the committee coordinated the First Regional Conference of Relatives of Disappeared Persons as part of the activities to accompany families in the region. In this space, 45 people representing 24 associations from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico exchanged reflections, experiences and lessons learned in the search processes to contribute to the strengthening of a solidarity network that transcends borders.

As part of the conference activities, the families agreed on a statement to highlight their needs and feelings. “We live in permanent limbo aski,ng ourselves again and again: where are they, will they be alive, will they be dead? Physically absent, but always present in our mind and heart,” they said at a press conference.

Armed conflict, migration, armed violence… the context and circumstances of disappearances in each country in the region may be different. Still, the families share the same need: to know what happened to them and where their loved ones are. For the first time, relatives from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, me met with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) organization xchange experiences and strengthen their search processes.

“We want to look at the disappearance of the relatives from different points of view. We get closer, walk together and try to ,understand,” said Olivier Dubois, head of the ICRC’s regional delegation.

To read the full press release in Spanish:

Mexico says disappearance of 43 students was a ‘crime of the state’

The authorities said for the first time that the state had been a key player in the likely massacre of students from a teachers’ college in 2014.

Oscar Lopez / The New York Times

Aug. 18, 2022 Updated Aug. 20, 2022

MEXICO CITY — The disappearance of 43 Mexican students in 2014 was a “crime of the state” involving every layer of government, an official inquiry reported on Thursday, in the most profound admission to date of government responsibility for one of the most notorious atrocities in Mexico’s modern history.

“At all times the federal, state and municipal authorities had knowledge of the students’ movements,” a government truth commission said in its preliminary findings. “Their actions, omissions and participation allowed for the disappearance and execution of the students, as well as the murder of six other people.”

The violent abduction and disappearance of the students, young men from a teachers’ college in the rural town of Ayotzinapa, and a subsequent cover-up that the commission confirmed extended to some of the highest national offices, have long been sources of national outrage, underscoring the cartel-fueled carnage and insidious state corruption that continue to wrack the country.Getting to the bottom of the students’ disappearance was a central campaign promise of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who created the truth commission to investigate the likely massacre and cover-up as one of his first actions in office.

To read the full article:

Activist Juana Garrido said that the murals remark where disappearances occur in Mexico City and represent a way of protesting.

Karla Mora | El Sol de México July 21, 2022

In November 2019, in the Lindavista area, Ángel Ramírez, Jesús Reyes and Leonel Báez disappeared. Yesterday, a few meters from where they were last seen, at the intersection of Calzada Misterios and Euzkaro Street, groups and relatives painted a mural to evidence this and dozens of other disappearances that occurred in the capital of the country. This is the eighth mural created by the collective “Hasta Encontrarlos CDMX” under the initiative “Muralism and art for our disappeared,” they go to the nearest places where the disappearances occurred to inform the population of the searches and to remind authorities about these cases.

Juana Garrido, one of the activists and sister of Viviana Elizabeth, who disappeared on November 30, 2018, in the Benito Juárez mayor’s office, explained that the murals remark where disappearances occur in Mexico City as a way to protest the lack of action by the authorities.

“We have to show what is happening in the city. It is also an awareness project for the community; we explain to people what the mural is about and who our disappeared are; this raises a lot of awareness. It is relevant for the community to know what is happening around the corner from their home,” she said.

The other murals to remember the disappeared are located in the mayor’s offices of Benito Juárez, Tlalpan, Iztapalapa, Iztacalco and Gustavo A. Madero.

María de Lourdes Romero Díaz and Áurea Rubí Reyes Escobar are looking for Leonel Báez Martínez and Jesús Reyes Escobar, respectively, both disappeared in Lindavista. They remember that, when they began the search, the authorities told them not to worry, that they had surely gone to “Acapulco Port for a vacation.”

They also claim they have been revictimized, a situation they share with dozens of families.

Photo: Roberto Hernández EL SOL DE MÉXICO