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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Null results on disappearances in Mexico must be made visible: activist

Almost 8 years after the tragic forced disappearance of 43 normalistas from the community of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, in Mexico, little or nothing has been solved of what happened in the early morning of September 27, 2014, so it is necessary to make visible that the Mexican State still does not deliver accounts of what it did, said Cristina Bautista Salvador, mother of Benjamin Ascencio Bautista, 19-year-old who disappeared that night.

Acts such as the one that took place in Mexico deserve to be known in every corner of the world, as well as the voices of those who suffer from the forced disappearance of a loved one, said the activist during the press conference of the "The Mexican Missing Persons".Summit X Peace"The event will be held in February 2023 in Mexico City.

"We are another month without having our children, without having the results. And this is very important for me as Benjamin's mother, so that we can be heard, because we know that we are not the only ones who are suffering like this, they do it everywhere in the world", said Cristina.

Disappearances in Mexico
Cristina Bautista Salvador, mother of Benjamín Ascencio Bautista, one of the 43 missing students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero (Photos by Heriberto Paredes).

He stressed that all these disappearances and violence, is a shared pain. "It is everyone's pain, it is our pain, it is the same suffering. That brings us all together to raise our voices, to be heard and to reach all corners with our voices, to let them know how we are going through this in Mexico and in other places".

In May of this year, Mexico surpassed the figure of 100,000 missing persons, a number that does not even begin to represent the suffering of the families who have lost a loved one at the hands of organized crime, which in addition to taking lives, has taken away the dreams and part of the hearts of those who today mourn their losses.

Following the report of more than 100,000 forced disappearances in the country, the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, stated that "a search is being carried out like never before. No other government has ever dealt with the disappeared as it does now. The entire Ministry of the Interior is dedicated to this and to the search for clandestine graves".

Although the more than 100,000 disappearances date back to 1964, 30 percent correspond to the government headed by López Obrador, who attributed this increase to the fact that "it may be that we are looking for them and that we were not looking for them before".

The President once again blamed former President Felipe Calderón, saying: "we must not forget that there was a war against drug trafficking and during that war many people died and disappeared. Then, when we came to the government, we assumed the responsibility of looking for them and helping the relatives and that is what we are doing. Without hiding anything".

At that time, the Mexican president compared the situation with the increase in femicides, which, he said, "before, the murder of women was not considered a crime with these characteristics, and since we arrived, it began to be classified".

However, the reality is different. Several organizations have questioned the statements made by López Obrador, better known as AMLO, as they point out that the situation has worsened, both in terms of forced disappearances and femicides.

Cristina Bautista emphasized that events such as the "Summit for Peace", held jointly by various civil and human rights organizations, both in Mexico and the United States, led by the non-profit organization Global Exchange, will be of utmost importance to promote the struggle and to hear from the mothers and fathers of the 43 disappeared from Ayotzinapa what they are doing and demanding from the authorities. 

"We know that what you are organizing is very important for the fathers and mothers of the 43 because they are going to hear our voices. Let it be known that we are still here as mothers and fathers looking for our children and we continue to demand that the government present them to us alive, because as the slogan says 'Alive they took them away! Alive we want them! 

"Because it was the State who disappeared them and the State is the one who has to solve the Ayotzinapa case. So, it is very important that they listen to us in a live voice of what we are going through and what we are suffering," he stressed.

The X Peace Summit will take place on February 27, 2023 in Mexico City, where women, indigenous communities, Native Americans, African Americans and more than 50 organizations will present the results of their work and promote a series of binational actions to promote social justice, human rights and equality in the democratic life and relations between Mexico and the United States.

Those interested in learning more about the Binational Summit can visit the following sites www.cumbrexlapaz.org and www.peacesummit2023.org.

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Pamela Cruz
Pamela Cruz
Editor-in-Chief of Peninsula 360 Press. A communicologist by profession, but a journalist and writer by conviction, with more than 10 years of media experience. Specialized in medical and scientific journalism at Harvard and winner of the International Visitors Leadership Program scholarship from the U.S. government.


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