Children in search of relatives, the other side of disappearances in Mexico

DANIEL ALONSO EL PAÍS Mexico – 01 SEPT 2022 – 20:13 CDT

A report tells the stories of children whose relatives disappeared; these children search for their relatives due to the authorities’ inaction.

Fernando was five years old when he participated in his first search. Now he is ten and still remembers: “My uncle told me that a person was buried there, and we dug it up, and yes, there he was. We dug with a pick and a shovel. I didn’t think anything, I just thought about the person, that they had buried him and he was tied up and had three bullets. […] He was tortured. But I’m not scared anymore.”

This is one of the testimonies collected in the report Childhood Counts 2022: Children and Disappearances, carried out by the Network for the Rights of Children in Mexico (REDIM), a coalition of 72 civil organizations distributed in 18 states of the nation that has been operating since 1995. The report presented on August 30, on the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance, has two parts. The first focuses on missing children and adolescents.

The second part of the report shows the other side of the coin: children born into families who struggle with the disappearance of a brother, a father, or an uncle.  Many of these families are forced to search for their loved ones due to the inaction of the authorities.

Tania Ramírez, director of REDIM, assures that “the disappearance crisis leaves the problem to the families of the victims. Today, disappearances, particularly, those of children and adolescents, suffer invisibility, including stigma, and silence that mourns families.”

https://elpais.com/mexico/2022-09-02/los-ninos-buscadores-la-otra-cara-de-las-desapariciones-en-mexico.html

Relatives of the disappeared during a mass at the Cathedral of Guadalajara. ROBERTO ANTILLON

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