Mothers of Missing Mexicans Go On Hunger Strike

A group of mothers on a hunger strike commemorated Mothers’ Day outside the attorney general’s office in Mexico City demanding [es] that the Mexican government keep its promise [es] to search for their missing sons and daughters.

According to official reports, more than 26,000 people went missing in Mexico between December 1, 2006, and November 30, 2012, during the administration of former President Felipe Calderón.

The women have maintained the strike since May 9, 2013.

Erwin C. in The Latin Americanist blog quoted one of the mothers participating in the hunger strike:

We will not leave until our cases have been resolved, the president meets with us and he gathers a working group to tell us when and how they will start to find our missing loved ones,” declared hunger striker Margarita López.  López said her “disappeared” daughter, Yahaira Guadalupe Bahena, was kidnapped two years ago by “armed men” and then tortured until she died. López has urged authorities to uncover a mass grave where her daughter was allegedly buried in but her pleas have thus far been ignored.

López was one of the participants in a seven-day hunger strike that took place last November and that ended after Mexico City authorities met with the protesters.

Paris Martínez from the digital publication Animal Político has covered the hunger strike from the start [es]. In one post [es], he introduced readers to some of the mothers participating in the strike, like Nancy Rosete, whose son Elvis Axell Torres Rosete has been missing since December 29, 2010:

Yo decidí participar en la huelga de hambre porque, como víctimas, no contamos con certeza sobre las acciones que realizan las autoridades. Han pasado ya más de dos años y, aun cuando hay supuestos avances en las investigaciones, nosotros no podemos verificarlos.

I decided to participate in the hunger strike because, as victims, we have no certainty about the authorities’ actions. It has been more than two years, and even though allegedly there are advances in the investigation, we cannot verify [these advances].

On May 13, Martínez reported [es] for Animal Político that, “aside from a brief exchange of comments by deputy attorney general Ricardo Garcia Cervantes -on the day the protest began- no authority has come to ask about [the protesters’] demands or to start a formal dialogue.

Mothers and family members of the disappeared held demonstrations on May 10, Mothers’ Day in Mexico. Martínez shared a video [es] that shows the mothers on hunger strike commemorting Mothers’ Day while chanting “They took them alive, we want them back alive!” and “Where are they? Where are they? Our children, where are they?”:

In another video [es], Martínez interviewed mothers and other family members of the missing on the fourth day of the hunger strike. Erica, one of the mothers on hunger strike, holds a sign which reads: “Four days on hunger strike and there are no answers. We want our sons and daughters to appear. Justice!”

She says that they are feeling the effects form the lack of food, that temperature decreases at night, and that they don't feel safe. Erica adds that citizens have been helping them.

Another protester affirms that they are not going anywhere: “We are not here for just one person, we are here for one common goal, which is the search of the missing”:

On Wednesday, May 15, Martínez reported [es] that a group representing the protesters will visit Los Pinos — the official residence and office of the President of Mexico — to present their written demands to President Enrique Peña Nieto, “so that he explains the lack of concrete actions in the search for their sons and daughters.”

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