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“Trembling with fear” does not prevent mothers from going to look for their children in Mexico

By Inés Amarelo |

Mexico City (BLAZETRENDS) children disappeared in Mexico stop looking.

“They ask us if we are afraid, and of course we are afraid, we tremble with fear, but love is stronger, the desire to search for and find our children,” said María Herrera, mother of four children who disappeared in an interview with BLAZETRENDS. Mexico and recently recognized as one of the 100 most influential people of the year by TIME magazine.

The tedious, painful and usually long work that they carry out, the mothers who search for the more than 112,000 people who have disappeared or have not been located in Mexico since there was a record, is worth it, says María, if they manage to give their children a burial.

“If they already allowed themselves to be given an undignified death, giving them a decent burial is what we are looking for,” he said.

Searching and threatened mothers

Five mother seekers were murdered in Mexico in 2022 and just this month the first of 2023, Teresa Magueyal, was killed.

“Despite the fact that these are the figures that are publicly disclosed, the problem is much greater and these seeking mothers do not have the necessary protection measures from the State,” César Contreras, a collaborating lawyer in the area of comprehensive defense of the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center (Centro Prodh), which accompanies victims.

Contreras explained that the disappearance crisis has not been eradicated in this six-year term, but rather has remained a trend.

In addition, the mothers and the rest of the searching relatives face what they call a “double disappearance”, because when they go to report, they find prosecutors that do not move and do not act early.

This happens for two reasons, the lawyer considered, due to a lack of capacities when being overwhelmed by a large number of cases and few public ministries, and due to a lack of political will on the part of prosecutors and authorities.

Going to the Prosecutor’s Office, the mothers hope that when filing a complaint a public ministry will carry out “basic procedures”, such as requesting recordings from surveillance cameras, searching for vehicles or requesting information from institutions, but this does not happen.

“When they see that it does not happen, they take the search into their own hands, and this means that they have to go to the places where the disappearance occurred or where they leave traces, they are highly dangerous places,” Contreras explained.

And the protection that the State grants them is almost non-existent, in many cases despite the fact that there have been previous threats.

motherly hope

Even with this scenario, mothers go looking for their children throughout the country in the hope of finding something.

“We all say that any remains that are found anywhere are our son, we call them treasures (to the located remains) because that is what they are. We know beforehand that for mothers, the most sacred thing that God gave us in this life are our children, and for them we have to fight and endure”, explained María.

María experienced the first disappearances of two of her sons, Raúl and Jesús Salvador, in 2008 in Guerrero.

Later, the rest of his children (he has eight in total) went to other states to work because they needed money to survive and also to continue searching.

In 2010 Luis Armando and Gustavo left for Veracruz and did not return either.

“The first thing I thought was to let myself die, because I thought that I would not be able to bear the absences any longer,” said María, who after the disappearance of her other two children, gathered strength for the search that continues until today, although then she thought she did not have it. .

The four missing children of María were detained by the Police at the moment their trace was lost.

Like her, thousands of women are looking for their relatives. Her life is different because the State did not prevent the disappearances and neither was it able to find her children, neither alive nor dead.

Contreras recalled that all of them would have another life project with their family and they were forced to change course “to be able to carry out the search in the midst of all the pain that this implies and they have known how to do it with great dignity.”

María ended by recalling that “entire Mexico is a clandestine pantheon.”

“I believe that the mothers who are missing our children are going to be (on the deathbed) with a lost look. I don’t think we are going to have that peace that you feel when you have your children by your side. We are going to die alone, without that heat and without that strength that children give, ”she declared.

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