Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Calderon's Indifference for the 'Desaparecidos'

Sunday, November 11, 2012 |

 Marcela Turati  Proceso November 10, 2012

Translated by un vato for Borderland Beat

Among the answers and actions that Calderon still owes are the painful complaints about disappeared persons. Mutilated families, especially mothers, have searched for their children among threats by organized crime and the garbage dump that is (Mexico's) system of justice. Because it was all in vain, they took refuge in the inflexible laws of their love, which do not allow them to abandon their struggle merely because government officials change.

Mexico, D.F. (Proceso).-- With stiff bodies under the layer of blankets, the women try in vain to drive away the cold that has settled in their bones. Another day begins in front of the Ministry of the Interior (Secretaria de Gobernacion), sleeping on a platform right on the pavement, in a tent that they covered with photographs of their children and dozens of other "desaparecidos" (disappeared persons.) The noise of the horns from the cars that pass right beside them force them to use up precious energy to make themselves heard.

It's 9:00 a.m. on the fourth day of their hunger strike. Margarita Lopez, Malu Garcia and Julia Alonso are refusing to eat until the government does what it has failed to do throughout this six-year term.

"It has been five years since I filed a complaint because of my son's disappearance and they did not even include my complaint in the file; there is no investigation, they are not looking for him, they have not summoned anybody to give a statement. All this time I thought there were people investigating, I believed in justice. So then, what's the use in waiting any longer? Today, I'm going all out and, if I have to fall in this struggle, I'll stay here," says Julia Alonso without altering her expression, even though she's talking about dying.

Margarita on left, has been a strong  advocate since her 19 year old daughter
 disappeared a year ago in Oaxaca -poster of her daughter Yahaira below
 
Her health is the worst. The day before, her glucose (blood sugar) level was 40, less than half of normal. She fainted. A paramedic predicted that during the night she could become unconscious due to hypoglycemia and he requested the authorities to keep an ambulance close by. The Ministry of Interior did not call for one, but the president of the House of Representatives, Jesus Murillo Karam, sent one.

At the entrance to the tent, there is a smiling photograph of her first-born Julio, her Julio. Julio Alberto Josue Lopez Alonso disappeared with three friends on January 12, 2008, after he had gone surfing in the La Boca reservoir, in Santiago, Nuevo Leon. Afterwards, it was learned that they were picked up by municipal police officers employed by drug traffickers.

La Boca, Santiago, where Julio Alberto Josue Lopez was taken by police working for narcos
Margarita Lopez, from Michoacan, who grieves for her daughter Yahaira Guadalupe Bahena, 19 years old, presumably tortured and murdered by the Zetas in Oaxaca, adds: "We will not leave here until we get a resolution to our petitions or we go out dead.  What else is left for us if we are at risk of getting murdered for raising our voices? What can be better than dying for an act of justice for our children? We are here and we're not moving."

Fasting in solidarity with them is Malu Garcia, human rights defender from Juarez, displaced after several attacks against her and the murder of a relative. On the street, outside the tent, other mothers pray for their health, victims of the torture of not knowing where their children are.

Time lies heavy on these women, it's their enemy. Not just because of the havoc it wreaks on their bodies, not just because of the vomiting, headaches, ups and downs in their blood pressure and other health problems it causes: every day that passes reduces the possibility of finding their children.

Their measure of time is different from that of Secretary Alejandro Poire, who, when he finally agreed to meet with them the night before, told them to focus on defining "their priorities" because the Calderon officials have only 16 working days left in their terms. And you can bet that bureaucrats measure time differently than a mother who doesn't stop searching on weekends.

"For us, they're all priorities; we're not asking for much nor for anything unreasonable," Margarita Lopez says she responded.

What she's asking for, for example, is for them to give her an official letter so that the FBI will give her the DNA results they obtained from the decapitated body that the authorities want her to accept, blindly, as her daughter's, and to allow the Argentine Team of Forensic Anthropology to compare the information.

Thursday night the Secretary asked them to lift the sit-in protest and to go home to rest. The women said "No";  they have sat around too many dialogue tables from which they leave full of always unfulfilled promises.

"They insist that they are worried about our health. It's fake; they should have worried before," -- says Julia Alonso--. "A mother deserves to be told what happened to her son."

"I want to tell you..."

From Chihuahua their children vanished
The sit-in was born in a fit of desperation, like those common with families with disappeared persons. The women played around with the idea for eight months, but they were always talked out of it by their friends in the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity. During the last march outside the PGR, on October 10, with barren results, they could not stand it any more.




November 6 dawned with three women sitting on the bare ground outside the Palacio de Covian. As the story spread, supporters began bringing them tents, blankets, jugs of water, chairs, honey. Mothers from the capital and from around the state also came and put up photographs of their own children on the walls.

"When Julia told me she had made up her mind, I traveled from Lazaro Cardenas. And that's how we saw the sunrise. We began by sitting on the floor, freezing with cold. We didn't have a tent or anything, we didn't know we had to drink honey and water," relates Margarita Lopez.

She was "picked up" last year and warned that she should stop looking for her daughter and stop pointing a finger at the Army in her statements. She's the same person who uncovered networks who were trafficking in young girls; she disguised herself and used wigs to go into illegal businesses and paid millions of pesos to informants (police agents and military personnel, as well as drug traffickers) for information. 
Piedras Negras-The man above says both of his brothers were kidnapped

Protesting, desperate for promised answers
They tolerated the first day without too many cramps. The second day, their stomachs were growling and hurting from hunger. The third day, in addition to hunger they had a severe headache because they did not know that they were supposed to take honey and water every 20 minutes. That was a day of dizziness, vomiting, weakness, blood pressure highs and lows and, at night, Julia's fainting spell.

On orders from Deputy Secretary Obdulio Avila, they were denied electricity, which condemned them to suffering from the cold at night, even though they had a heater.

"It gets easier now; the body gets used to not eating," says Julia Alonso, smiling, with half of her body between the blankets.

(Extracted from a report that appears in Proceso No. 1880, now in circulation.) 
Source: http://www.proceso.com.mx/?p=324918 

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41 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope the article isn't referring the American FBI in regards to the women obtaining DNA results concerning her daughter. If so don't hold your breath. They work for giant corporations and couldn't give a rats ass about common people of either country.

Anonymous said...

Its sad to read this. But its the truth Mexico system of justice is garbage only if your a somebody ( have money or is a politician) you get justice. I'm Mexican but atleast here in the U.S I know something is done to those who brake the law. I feel bad for those mothers I put my self in there shoes and cant imagine how it must be...

Anonymous said...

This story nearly made me cry.....it would be torture to be a parent of a missing,fkn MX government is a disgrace to its peoples.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Vato

Chivis said...

In Coahuila, Durango, Zaca and Chih there are tens of thousands bodies filling clandestine graves an accurate number can not be estimated.

Then there are the poor souls of Centro America, the economic migrants those that never make past the south of Mx and others that almost make it... The number of dead in unknown fosas are at least as much as the offical death count, but most likely more.

Coahuila does not keep an ofical count of drugwar deaths or kidnappings....thanks Vato

Anonymous said...

Arm the mothers. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

When will something be done? That question has been asked time and time again, yet nothing ever does happen. I couldn't imagine if someone took my 5yr old boy. I'd kill if i could. I'd march if it made a difference. I'd die if I had to. I feel for these mothers. But women are a second-class human in MX. So many children, especially women, are kidnapped, tortured, raped, and either held to be used by the cartel, or killed. So many migrants with the same outcome, male and female. When will this stop? When will there be something actually done about this? MX has completely failed their people. The ONLY thing that would help, is a full on REVOLT. They've tried everything else (the mx people) to get the attention of the govnmt. Nothing has worked. They're pockets are too lined. I know it sounds stupid, and immature, but revolutions have made differences in governments. If the cartels can access these weapons with ease, why dont the mx ppl arm themselves, screw the "1 hunting rifle per house" law. Arm up, and revolt. Then the government would have no other choice. I honestly don't see any other way.

Anonymous said...

Wow I thought I had problems. Why don't the citizens of Mex just get there own guns and start killing these mofos? Knowones gonna investigate the killings of cartel members either. Shoot first and ask questions later. If I lived in Mex I'd arm my 7 year old.

Anonymous said...

This is sad its pretty f-uped you kids your mom or dad just vanish and you cant even get the police to help you mexico is so fucked up but the same happens here in the usa only diffrence is u can call the police it does not mean u get your loved ones back mean people suck

Anonymous said...

I live on long island and dealing with the aftermath of " hurricane Sandy" and I still have more compassion for the families who lost their children in mx...people here should think about those mother's in mx. searching for their children, before they cry they lost electric or lost their house.I wish someone could tell them they didn't lose everything..those mothers in Mexico lost everything..thanks b.b. for getting the news to us.

Anonymous said...

Sad and shameful that in 2012, our world is DE-volving instead of evolving. We,as a societal people,accept this kind of behaviour. This is what "the tea party" has tried to convey in their message. LIMITED Government. When Government can control their citizens like this, it`s out of control, and they DO NOT have a 2nd amendment to protect them fro tyrannical government as the USA does. The right to bear arms may come to fruititon I`m afraid before things get to big in Government, if they haven`t already

Chivis said...

HEY lONG iSLAND...That is amazing and selfless that you could have such compassion during your personal tragedy. Yours is the most profound comment I have read in a very long time. I hope you will have electricity soon, may I ask how is everyone attempting to keep warm? One of my son's best friends, a fire captain had major damage to his home there. My son is also a captain but-in SoCal- The best to you and your community...Paz, Chivis

Anonymous said...

For many, many years there has been some very evil and sick serial killers at work in Mexico because it is so easy to snatch up a poor child and its a crime that is very easy to get away with in Mexico. These groups love to torture people and in Mexico they have an endless supply of victims... Sadly these groups of monsters are made up of other Mexicans... It has nothing to do with the drug cartels but they use that to blend in their crimes...

Anonymous said...

@ 3:18 AM
Revolutions take time to occur, it's not an overnight thing or even 2-3 year thing.It's kind of a serious situation, not as simple as you make it sound.Even here in the US it took many years of bullshit for a revolution to occur.It was a last resort.In areas around Mexico it is already happening. Citizens are arming themselves and taking control of their towns.That's how it starts and if nothing changes it will gradually get worse.Violence is a last resort, the citizens are approaching this in a peaceful manner first.no one wants to go to war even if its necessary but they will eventually.

Anonymous said...

The lack of compassion from the Mexican government is profound. Blame everyone else, take bribes, and deny that any of this goes on. Disgusting. Until the entire country as a whole gets a sense of character, this will not change. In fact, it will get worse. It is going on here in the US were we elect a guy who is just as corrupt and shady as Mexico's President Elect. Everyone will sell their soul for anything free. Sad state on both sides.

Anonymous said...

Chivis ... let's talk.

Yeah, of course some people go missing because they fall victim to the narco's. maybe they saw something that they were not supposed to see.

And in addition, young women are being snatched for the sex trade. forced into prostitution. it's really terrible, but we can understand what is happening.

however, I don't believe this explains everything. not by a long shot. it appears that girls and young women are disappearing in Mexico for some OTHER reason. something very ugly that has never been explained or exposed. let me lay it out there. are these female victims being used in really bad pornography videos, and then being killed afterwards??? it seems as though some sort of really horrible global black market trade exists for something that involves young women.

you would do the mothers of Mexico a big favor if you uncovered what this is. you don't have to stop the problem. you just need to figure out what's happening.

P., California

Anonymous said...

Mexico needs Mexican Batman

Anonymous said...

The same kind of apathetic authoritarian approach which motivated Marisela Escobedo.Anyone can feel the mothers sense of frustration and outrage at the lack of interest from"elected officials"and various government arms,the downright criminality of some of the police.I feel so sorry for them,who can they turn to when the very people who control the various organs of investigation and power may themselves be sometimes involved like the police?
Someone above mentioned revolution?These poor mothers have the worst nightmare scenario parents could endure,the disappearance and probable death of their children.Mexican men have a lot to answer for.I hope someone,anyone in a position of influence comes forward in Mexico to help these disenfranchised mothers who are crying out for justice,another national disgrace,these are your women Mexico?Beauty is now a curse to Mexican girls.These are your wives,your mothers,sisters,aunts,nieces,Mexico they deserve better.

Anonymous said...

So very very sad.Look at the pain these mothers are going through and there is no one in Mexican government who cares?Where are the men?
I would be at the side of my woman,i couldn't care less what anyone thought of me,as long as she was safe,that's all that would matter to me.
But maybe some dudes are to macho for that?

Anonymous said...

So your kids are kidnapped and disappeared by the police and so you want the police to investigate.

Makes sense.

Anonymous said...

long island guy god bless u and your family we need more ppl like you. we need more posetive comments with out blaming anybody so thank you.TODO POR UN MUNDO MEJOR

Anonymous said...

Thanks chivis, we went from hurricane to 8 inches of snow two days later but now its 70 and warm. It was neighbors helping each other if you were cold.(blankets,generators,neighbors sharing fireplaces) as of today 90% of power has been restored..ok. people lost their homes (they had insurance) rebuild,be strong,and be ready for the next one..our problems do not compare to what those mothers and family members are going through every second of the day.( with nowhere to turn for help). Chivis I know you don't usually go off subject..you don't have post this.it just brings to mind sometimes you think your life has been turned around and you lost everything.but you really didn't....It's life. Those mothers in mx. Lost everything.

Anonymous said...

What else is left for us if we are at risk of getting murdered for raising our voices? What can be better than dying for an act of justice for our children?

IF EVERYONE WOULD HAVE THE SAME SENTIMENT AS THIS WOMEN. PEOPLE, WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO DIE FOR IF NOT YOUR CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!

Joe Lara said...

The best solution is for citizens to arm themselves and form " death squads " and perform " social cleansing " operations against drug addicts , criminals and other undesirables . I have seen and witnessed this done very effectively in Latin America and in Ciudad Juarez and it really works .

Anonymous said...

Thanks BB for the translation-- too bad these store don't get any press in US. God bless these poor families and give them peace.

Chivis said...

Relieved to hear you are all caring for each other, and I admire the way you are able to placed something so tragic into perspective of still being far less than having a loved one taken and not knowing what became of them...Paz

Anonymous said...

if it wasnt for ppl like you chivis and your coworkers we wouldnt event know about all the things that are going on over there and for me living in the u.s. and bein mexican is verry inportant to me so thank you and god bless you all TODO POR UN MEXICO MEJOR

Anonymous said...

Lol ok rambo!!! Haha u do that! Why don't u get Iron man and hulk to back u up on that one. Fucking we got a Mexican Hitler here who watches to many goddamn movies.

Anonymous said...

U have seen? What on like tv? Ur a Fucking geek lol I bet u never left your couch let alone the country. Grow some pubes and jump off a cliff moron

Anonymous said...

May God protect you

Anonymous said...

When my brother was taken in Acapulco 2 years ago almost my entire family went down and organized a group well armed we started putting our own mantas on safe houses and giving threatening handouts to taxi drivers and halcones. The barter was return him to our family and we will leave Mexico with in 24hrs and not bring the press into it if they failed all of their secrets we knew would be reported to American justice and journalists and forwarded to Mexico including names and addresse. We got him back within 3 days a little beaten but fine they didn't feed him once! They are not brave they are not powerful they only have an illusion of power which is chamber in 762 and 556 caliber. So when you have the same their just random street punks. THEY CAN'T KILL US ALL BUT WE CAN FOR DAMN SURE KILL MOST OF THEM

Joe Lara said...

I have made comments here and I sign my real name . None the less , there are some who do not agree with my opinion but do so anonymously . I do not feel that I have to brag about what I have done or lived through . I find that by using my name here I stand by anything and everything that I write . I challenge everyone here to use their names and engage in honest dialogue and fair debate instead of mouthing off anonymously .

Anonymous said...

@11:11am Joe,when you say Drug addicts,i hope you dont mean kill them,as i know a few Drug addicts and they work 48hr week and play up on the weekend,two of them are in I.T. another computer programmer and two others general building construction labourers...they all play with COKE & heroin....what im saying is there is a hell of a lot of drug addicts that are in the workforce and generally give a positive attitude towards society,dont forget them. ZEBRA-40

Dan Kass said...

@10:04- In no way am I saying revolution is easy, or takes a short amount of time. I completely agree with you! It wasn't my intention to have my comment come off as such. Revolutions are the result of an oppressed people (or unhappy)for over a long period of time, i understand this. Here in puerto rico, theyve been unhappy, and a bit opressed for a while, and still have not had a full on revolution. (granted things were never AS bad as they are in mx) And you're right, they are trying the peaceful route, and thats the absolute best thing to do. But thier government will never help them. Surely not against the cartels, and even as simple as sending investigators to try and find the kidnapped. Eventually, the only way, if the govnmt will not respond and change thier tactics, they will have a "voice" or be able to change thier surroundings is to revolt. It will def take time, but from this point here and now, that is all i see. If the corruption wasn't such a huge problem that plagues the entire country, it would never come to that, but what other route could be taken? At the end of the day MX has failed thier people, especially thier women and children. U.S. isnt much better, if we made it just a little bit easier to become a citizen, or atleast permanant (sic, ive been up for 3 days lol)) resident it would help them greatly. I'm glad i dont live on the mainland anymore. We do have crime, and yes, a lot of violence, but where im at, we dont see any of it. I really feel for them, but what is the most logical thing to be done??

Anonymous said...

Your dumb joe anonymous is the best way to post. Who knows what psycho killer mexican druglord you may piss off. Im sure its a slim chance but after watching these animals cut off peoples heads with chainsaws, castrate, skin alive, peel faces off, torture and ect, I wouldnt even take the slightest chance. Its happened before. Like I can say z40 is the biggest fag ever and he's just a pussy who cant get his little penis up. I hope el chappo catches you and makes you his bitch. I'm just saying there's no chance of retribution if your

Anonymous said...

I know why not just put your home address if you want to stand by your word. You really want to play hide and go seek with el chappo, cause if hes decides he wants to play with youll loose. Hes without a doubt the best hide and go seek player in the world, really. So if he wants to he can find you. Dont make it too easy for him or anyone to find you for some dumb opinion about mexico you may have

Anonymous said...

The real numbers are 450,000 killed or dissapeared diring Mr Calderon's presidency. He started a war he could not finish. Over 300,000 people has died, 150,000 are missing. 52000 soldiers, policeman and marines have died, 150,000 sicarios have died, The rest from 72 journalists to 5 year old kids, doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers. Killed in countless crossfires, kidnappings, mistakes, etc... Es una Pinche carniceria. Mexico esta muerto ! Mexico is not a failed state is a DEAD STATE !

Anonymous said...

"Relieved to hear you are all caring for each other" nice comment.

from Two Ton Tex

Anonymous said...

@ ZEBRA-40
Now that is some common sense.You get ballbags on here talkin about shit they know nothing about?
It is a fact that we have doctors,lawyers,IT,construction workers,web design,in fact a whole cross section of people who take drugs when they have down time and some who indulge every day and function perfectly well while holding down a job and paying all their bills on time.So before you speak out your ass,use your brains a bit?

Anonymous said...

"I challenge everyone here to use their names and engage in honest dialogue and fair debate instead of mouthing off anonymously"
Oh dude fuck off,just cause you wanted to make an account matters little,that's up to you,but don't think your doing anything special for fucks sake?
To have an honest discussion you need to use your name?Get the fuck outta here and grow up with that shit.How we to know that's your real name,and mores to the point,who gives a fuck?

dan kass said...

i think it's annoying to use time stamps to respond to people, it'd be more convenient if people used thier names. Real ones or not, i'd like it better. And I'm really not worried about a cartel member finding me from this, I know some in real life, they can find me a lot of other ways than this. I think if you live in the U.S. you shouldnt be afraid someone is going to come and find you an kill you, thats ridiculous, and a very small chance of happening. I'm posting with my real name, and I havent been killed, kidnapped, or tortured yet. hahaha

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