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Where do the disappeared go? – The Sun of Mexico

By Irelyd Soto.

This is the phrase of a very emblematic stanza of the song “disappearances” by singer-songwriter Rubén Blades. It is a slogan with which it is questioned and demanded in turn, raising its voice against the forced disappearances perpetrated by military dictatorships in Latin America and that currently resonates so much because it is the question that day after day has a greater echo in our society. Mexican, which remains linked to the individual and collective memory of those who have a missing relative whose whereabouts are uncertain.

In Mexico, we identified that forced disappearance began to manifest itself with great force in periods such as The dirty war of the 70’s, where there was a strong persecution and repression by the State, and the war against drugs since 2006, to which kidnapping and femicide are added today.

With data from the Government of Mexico, it is known that it was in 1964 when the first disappeared person was registered in our country and since then this figure has not stopped growing, since it turns out that by 2022 more than 100 thousand disappeared persons will be counted according to the National Registry of Missing or Not Located Persons.

However, this figure is widely discussed because it does not reflect more precise data on the number of people who have this legal status, since, taking into account the people who do not appear in the records, as a total it can give us a sum that doubles or triples what is officially established.

The foregoing gives us as a result a fragile rule of law and a torn social fabric due to the anxiety experienced by the relatives of disappeared persons, as well as by society in general, where a generalized panic has already developed, causing the pathways to peace are almost completely blocked.

Access to justice, truth and care for victims are commitments that we have not seen reflected in actions and leave the General Law on Forced Disappearance of Persons, disappearances committed by individuals and the National Search System for People.

What we need is more empathy and support for the victims and a true commitment to the cause of families and groups that fight every day. There are various mechanisms: the UN issues recommendations and public opinion demands justice, but for families who have a missing loved one there is no rest, since true justice will come the day their relatives find their way back home and when they can hug them again.

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