I no longer even remember for sure how long this has been going on. "This" being the hundreds and hundreds of missing women in Mexico. All I know for sure is I have been writing about them for a long time...and nothing ever changes.
Monica Ortiz Uribe remembers when she first became aware. She writes at Fronteras about the missing women from Ciudad Juarez:
I remember getting my first flier for a missing girl in late 2008. It was a chilly morning in December and I was covering a protest in a public park near the university in Juárez. Some students of that university approached me and handed me a black and white flier.
The girl in the picture was smiling with dark curls framing a delicate face. Her name: Lidia Ramos Mancha, 17 years old.
“She’s a student at the university. She’s missing,” her fellow students told me. I remember a strange feeling of dread creep into the pit of my stomach.
When I was given that flier, Lidia had only been missing 4 days. This December she will have been missing four years. Her case remains unsolved. Last time I visited her family, Lidia's Christmas present was still waiting for her beside the dresser in her family’s two-room adobe home.
These girls and young women continue to disappear. The most worrisome cases all share similar traits. They are between the ages of 13 and 19. Most come from humble neighborhoods in the far eastern and western edges of the city. All used the “ruta” or bus to get around the city. All had a bus transfer in downtown Juárez, which is where most are believed to have gone missing. Two are university students. The rest are high schoolers who went downtown to look for work and never came back.
The Mexico investigator for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights says more than 5,000 Mexicans have filed missing-person reports with police in a nation where many people don’t trust authorities enough to file such reports according to an article in Mexico News.
Last June the NY Times reported:
For the parents, grief has been compounded by the authorities, who, in the parents’ view, have done far too little explaining. Several mothers of missing girls said that prosecutors had refused to let them visit the morgue, even as officials offered up conflicting tallies for how many female bodies were held there. “They’re liars,” said Norma Laguna Cabra, Idalí’s mother.
For the families the horror continues and goes from bad to worse as the post below from IPS demonstrates.
It would be a joy if someday I could quit writing about this.