Pain, Love and Hope Among the Friends & Relatives of Mexico’s Forcibly Disappeared
Karen Mehiel - The Huffington Post
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November 7, 2017

Law of Enforced Disappearances and disappearance by individuals in Mexico (FundarAC)

My tears fell silently as I heard a group of strangers talk about the personal, unrelenting pain that comes from having a family member forcibly disappeared.

Hours before I had been driving along scenic roads that connect Mexico City with the southern state of Guerrero. The contrast could not have been starker. I found myself here after joining a delegation from Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights tasked with visiting some of the most violent areas in Mexico and collecting the stories of those affected by forced disappearances and criminal impunity.

Our delegation heard from Civil Society Organizations consisting of families, reporters, and activists affected by the atrocities brutalizing the region– rapes, killings, disappearances, and threats to their land and daily lives. These voices came from small towns like Ixtapa and well-known areas like Acapulco. We convened at a community center, where men and women of all ages shared their pain over food and drink. It struck me then - civility continues to exist even as many experience a life of unimaginable adversity. They are fearless.

The roughly 50 attendees, some of who traveled three hours to have their voices heard faced economic struggles that are invisible to those in power. They shared their stories in front of friends, strangers and camcorders. Our delegation faced these incredible survivors as they balanced their pain with hope - hope that we would shine a light on the indiscriminate violence plaguing their communities.

Their somber demeanor and quiet dignity was the most powerful of statements. Mexican government officials at every level continue to turn a deaf ear and blind eye to their experiences. It is appalling. It seems they have a soulless government, filled with officials who collude with criminal cartels, which cannot or will not find the time, the resources, or the motivation to protect innocent people, and prosecute criminals.

Read the rest at The Huffington Post

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