Activists for Mexico's Kidnapped to Felipe Calderón : 'We Want An Answer...For Us Right Now We Are Dead While Living.'

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From Mexico City, Marta Molina filed this recent report in Waging Nonviolence on the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity's actions to remind the Meixcan government that its lack of transparency and resolve means there remain no answers for those who grieve over the 80,000 killed and disappeared. The series of actions are especially meant to remind outgoing Mexican President Felipe Calderón that he's failed to keep his promises.

Molina's story is a well-written testimony of what is taking place right now. I recommend you read the entire post here. From Molina:

“Because they were taken alive, we want them returned alive.”

This was the call made by the mothers and family members of the disappeared in front of Mexico City’s Secretariat of Governance on October 10. The initiative was started by the mothers of the disappeared and assassinated, who are members of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD). Their goal is to bring visibility to those who can neither be called dead nor alive, and to those who continue searching for justice. It was the first in a series of activities planned for the coming months to ask for transparency from Felipe Calderón’s government, and to highlight the national emergency now that there are fewer than two months left before he finishes his term.

“My daughter was taken from her home in the state of Oaxaca — I’m from Michoacán — by a group of armed men,” explains Margarita López, an MPJD organizer. ”Like many mothers, I have had to investigate on my own, and I too am trying to find out if the body they say they found is that of my daughter. I’m doing the same as thousands of other mothers.” She continued:

Just as our children have names and faces, the authorities that have failed to do their jobs also have names and faces. We want the world to know who isn’t doing their job, and who is obstructing justice for those who are trying to find our disappeared children or know the details of the killings that have happened, even within the Movement for Peace.

According to the MPJD, by the end of Felipe Calderón’s term there are 80,000 dead, 20,000 disappeared and 250,000 displaced. The figures almost lose meaning when looking at how quickly they’ve grown in the last six years. But each number has a name and a family. No one who was disappeared has returned home. No cases have been resolved, no one has been sentenced and none of the commitments made to the movement have been met after a year and a half of organizing.

On October 10, members of the MPJD covered themselves from head to toe in black thread, and faced the Secretariat of Governance offices in Mexico City. “These black threads represent the number of disappeared,” explains Laura Valencia, a visual artist and member of the MPJD’s art group. This is the way she has found to illustrate an oxymoron: to make a disappearance visible. “This action was developed from serious reflection on a case of disappearance I experienced in my family,” Laura said. She added:

[I]t made me think about how to understand this hole, this hollow space that a disappearance creates … [I]t’s hard to understand just how awful it is for a family to have someone disappeared, because they cannot fill that hole until there’s justice.

The victims of the supposed war on drugs that Calderón began when he assumed the presidency in 2006 want to show Mexico’s president that he has essentially abdicated his job of governing Mexico. They want him to leave office knowing he accomplished nothing and to draw the attention of all Mexicans to the lack of political will to resolve cases of disappearance.

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