Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat
The state of Veracruz is one of the states of Mexico whose residents have suffered through the disappearances of their relatives. Since December 2010, the local government has recorded more than 650 cases according to official figures from the National Public Security System [SNSP]. But in a state in which victims blame the authorities for their complicity, the testimonies of the bereaved women agree that the black figure of this terrible phenomenon, associated with organized crime, is very high.
The presence of Los Zetas and its rivals, such as The Knights Templar Cartel and The Jalisco New Generation Cartel have led to the murder of hundreds or thousands of people whose bodies have been hidden in at least 144 illegal graves recorded by the Attorney General of Mexico (PGR) between 2006 and 2013. Because of this, the magnitude of the crisis that the state lives through could be worse than what we know so far.
Although the disappearances have been counted from years ago, it wasn’t until 2016 when the first public search brigades were organized in the state which soon found dozens of clandestine graves in several cities in Veracruz.
VICE News interviews the women who have been part of these committees to find out what their efforts are in finding their missing relatives.
On December 1, 2016, Miguel Ángel Yunes Linares (PAN) took office as the new governor of Veracruz, a state marked by the economic crisis and corruption left by his predecessor, Javier Duarte (PRI), who is currently a fugitive from the Mexican justice system.