11/14/11- Thirty three mothers from El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Costa Rica arrived in Mexico City Tuesday November 8, on a mission to find their children and denounce the Mexican government’s inaction towards the disappearances of Central American migrants in Mexico. These mothers are easily recognized by the giant pictures of their lost sons or daughters hanging from their necks, the glossy candids of young men and women who have disappeared in Mexico.
The women, most of them elders, carry a giant banner that reads “Mothers Caravan: Finding Your Child Missing in Transit” and hoist the flags of Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras on their backs as they search for their missing loved ones. They ask locals, police, and press about their children and post information, leaving no source unturned before moving on to the next area where migrants are frequently abducted. Clementina Murcia Gonzales is a convoy mother from San Pedro Sula, Honduras. She walks the route in search of her sons, Mauro Orlando Cunes, who disappeared twenty-four years ago, and Jorge Orlando who went missing ten years ago. She believes that Mauro Orlando was kidnapped five years ago and has heard nothing about Jorge since he ventured into Mexico en route to the United States.
In Tenosique, Tabasco, a red banner hangs over the overpass of Miguel Hidalgo Street, with faces and names of the missing sons and daughters, their height and age, and the location they were last reported seen. The sons and daughters are called “Our Missing”.
The groups of mothers searching for their children have been carvanning through Mexico since 2000. The Washington Post reports that the women have found at least 57 of their relatives. The caravan of mothers will tour nine Mexican states until November 13 before returning to Guatemala, searching the most dangerous areas for U.S.-bound migrants in northern Mexico. The women also visited San Fernando, where the Zetas cartel dumped Central American migrants in mass graves, with some accounts as high as 183 killed. Migrants who travel through Mexico are at constant risk as easy targets for kidnappings and extortions by cartels who exploit the travelers vulnerable positions.