@ Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano
On 30 November 39 mothers of disappeared Central Americans migrants began their XI caravan through Mexico. Using slogans like “We are missing everyone” and “A mother never tires of looking,” these women from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua left from the “72” migrant home in Tenosique, Tabasco, for Villahermosa. Subsequently they were received in Palenque, from where they continued to Veracruz and Puebla before arriving to Mexico City. From there they continued on to Oaxaca, concluding their caravan on Saturday 18 December in Hidalgo, Chiapas. Dressed with shirts that identify the caravan and showing photos of their lost relatives, they demanded “Not another disappearance!” and held expositions in public plazas, visiting different migrant homes, prisons, and hospitals, among other sites. Accompanied by human-rights defenders and civil national and international organizations, they followed migratory routes, performed ceremonies on railways, and consulted officials from the three levels of government to request their assistance in the search. All of this they expressed with the hope of finding their sons. According to the coordinator of the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement and of the caravan itself, Martha Sánchez Soler, this caravan is “something special” because it is the first time that they have submitted denunciations before the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) against the Mexican State for forcible disappearance. For her, the phenomenon is that “migrants arrive in Mexico, disappear, and the authorities make no investigations. It’s a perfect crime.” Another participant in the caravan demanded that the Mexican government not discriminate or stigmatize migrants, for this is a demand that they have made “each year we have visited Mexico. We seek our sons and we are gladdened whenever one of us does find her loved one.” During the last 10 years of caravans, there have been more than 200 reunions between mothers and sons. In the caravan of this year a mother has found her sound in Tabasco. It is because of such experiences that the women continue to search with hope.
It bears mentioning that Mexico is considered one of the countries in which the question of migration is especially complicated. It has high internal migration and besides that, it is crossed by migrants emanating from Central America en route to the U.S. Although there are no official statistics, the United Nations International Organization for Migration said that “every year some 150,000 people cross the southern border of Mexico illegally.” A 2011 report from the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) indicates that there at least 20,000 kidnappings of Central American migrants in Mexico every half-year.
These data strengthen the women from the caravan to continue with their search. For the priest Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, founder of the migrant home “Brothers on the Path” in Ixtepec, Oaxaca, “this struggle is the work of women who for 11 years have been seeking out their children. Some of them have not known about their fate for the past 20 years, and still they have not tired of looking for them. It is a great hope that this caravan represents.”
For more information (in Spanish):
Entregar vivos a sus hijos, exigen madres centroamericanas al gobierno mexicano (La Jornada, 14 de diciembre de 2015)
Mujeres centroamericanas que buscan a sus hijos visitan penales del Istmo (La Jornada, 13 de diciembre de 2015)
Madres de migrantes centroamericanos inician búsqueda de desaparecidos (Proceso, 30 de noviembre de 2015)
Inicia la XI Caravana de Madres Migrantes Centroamericanas (El Economista, 30 de noviembre de 2015)
COMUNICADO DE PRENSA – INICIA LA XI CARAVANA DE MADRES CENTROAMERICANAS #NosHacenFaltaTodos (Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano, 26 de noviembre de 2015)
Columna: La dolorosa travesia de la caravana de madres centroamericanas (Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano, 24 de noviembre de 2015)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Mexico/Chiapas: Caravan of Central American Mothers, “Bridges of Hope,” in San Cristóbal (16 December 2014)
Mexico: Caravan of Central American mothers seeking out their children(2 November 2012)
Civil Observation Mission ends in Tenosique; migrants and rights-defenders in grave danger; caravan of Central American mothers searching for disappeared relatives arrives in Tenosique (14 November 2011)