National: Collectives and Organizations Demand Justice for Murder of Mother of Disappeared, Maria Carmela Vazquez

@Fernando Carranza Garcia /

Over four months ago, Osmar Zuñiga Vazquez disappeared in Guanajuato. Maria Carmela Vazquez and she became a mother searching for her son. On November 6th, Carmela was murdered outside her home. “She has died in the struggle, because she went without finding her son”, said the Collective of Missing Persons of Penjamo.

Maria Carmela participated by carrying out searches in the field, and through actions of memory and awareness of the population regarding the issue of forced disappearance. The Collective dedicated a few words in her honor and wrote to Osmar: “Your mom left without seeing you for the last time, your mom had the great illusion of giving you a hug and telling you how much she loves you. Osmar, your mom will not be physically there to continue with us on this journey, but we are thousands of families looking for you.”

The representative of the collective “Hasta encontrarte” (until we find you), Bibiana Mendoza, declared that the organization will continue with the search for Osmar: “We are going to look for him as if he were our son.” The activist denounced that the mothers searching for the disappeared are victims of threats for their activities, they have even filed a complaint with the Prosecutor’s Office. However, she assured that “we cannot stop our search, it is a promise and we have to fulfill it.”

The United Forces for Our Disappeared in Mexico group demanded justice: “We join the impotence and indignation at her murder and we demand a prompt investigation from the authorities that leads to the truth and justice being done.”

For their part, Mesoamerican Voices and the Movement for Our Disappeared in Mexico (MNDM) condemned Carmela’s murder and expressed their concern over the increase in serious incidents against searchers. In addition, they demanded protection from the State for the searchers: “We reiterate the obligation of the State to follow up on her case, and also guarantee the necessary security and protection measures for her family and for the organized families of the municipality of Penjamo.”

With her, there have been three searchers killed in the last three years, and at least 17 since 2010, most of them women, according to data from the National Citizen Council of the National Search System and journalistic reports.

For more information in Spanish:

Asesinan a madre buscadora en Guanajuato (Proceso, 7 de noviembre de 2022)

Carmen buscaba a su hijo desaparecido; la asesinaron y nunca lo encontró (La Silla Rota, 7 de noviembre de 2022)

Asesinan en Guanajuato a la madre buscadora María Carmela Vázquez (La Jornada, 8 de noviembre de 2022)

¡Justicia para María y exigencia de protección para personas buscadoras! (Voces Mesoamericanas, 7 de noviembre de 2022)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: International Day of Victims of Forced Disappearance – Commemoration of Colembij en Susuclumil Collective, Tila (September 3, 2022)

Guerrero: Nine Months since Forced Disappearance of Vicente Suastegui, CECOP Member (May 9, 2022)
National/International: Caravan of Central American Mothers Joins “March for National Dignity: Mothers Seeking their Daughters and Sons, Truth and Justice” (May 13, 2022)

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