Protests erupt as migrant disappearances surge at Mexico's northern border
Migrants contribute to Mexico's historic crisis of forced disappearances, with the government acknowledging over 110,000 individuals unaccounted for since records began
August 31, 2023 9:31am
Updated: August 31, 2023 9:31am
Protests erupted on this year's International Day of the Victims of Forced Disappearances after a surge of migrant disappearances at Mexico's northern border, where groups of up to 30 individuals have gone missing.
The numbers of those missing have skyrocketed, according to Daniel Alejandro Durán, a representative of the Collective Families United for Truth and Justice who spoke to EFE.
In the past, reports of one or two missing migrants per year were common, but in recent months, the count has surged to one or two disappearances every week.
"Previously, one or two cases were reported annually, but now migrants are reporting the abduction and disappearance of groups of 20 to 30 without any complaints or follow-up," Durán said.
The demonstration took place outside the General State Prosecutor's Office in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, the epicenter of the migrant humanitarian crisis.
"The data we have pertains to migrant individuals who have experienced violent incidents such as kidnapping and disappearance, and these figures are rising," reiterated the activist.
Yadira Cortés, coordinator of the organization Mesa de Mujeres, added that individuals in transit are reluctant to file complaints due to perceived legal implications.
She noted that authorities are discovering the bodies of many women abandoned and assuming they are migrants because no one claims them.
"No one reports them, and no one says anything," she lamented.
Hours earlier, international civil organizations decried in a statement, based on data from the National Search Commission (CNB), that over 1,800 migrants, mostly from Central America, have gone missing in Mexico.
Migrants contribute to Mexico's historic crisis of forced disappearances, with the government acknowledging over 110,000 individuals unaccounted for since records began.
"It's extremely concerning; during this administration (Andrés Manuel López Obrador's), there have been more disappearances than in the previous one," Durán argued.
One of the symbols presented during the protest against forced disappearance was a migrant cross, adorned with flags of major American countries that are sources of migrant expulsion.
A backpack dangles from one arm, while a pair of sneakers hang from the other.
"Sneakers and backpacks are symbols of them; migrants are always walking, always in motion, and the flags represent their countries," explained Durán.
Norma Laguna Cabral, mother of the missing Mexican Idaly Juache, who vanished 13 years ago, participated in the protest. Juache's remains were later found in the El Navajo stream, east of Ciudad Juárez.
"For us, time stands still; it feels as if it happened yesterday. Sometimes, we don't even have the will to live, but God is great, and only He knows why we're still here," she commented.
"It's heartbreaking that the authorities show no interest in putting an end to all of this," the grieving woman lamented.