Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

VIDA, the group that searches for the " disappeared" in Coahuila

Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Milenio article and photos from Vanguardia

[ Subject Matter: Forced disappearances
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required]

Parents of the victims that make up the VIDA organization travel in a borrowed van, run through the desert wearing tennis shoes and dig with machetes, knives, rakes or poles.

Oscar Sanchez and his wife 

Reporter: Erica Flores

Torreon, Coahuila.
After the disappearance of Silvia Stephanie Sanchez Viesca, "Fanny", her parents as well as other families, who like them, are searching the surroundings for family members "disappeared". They formed the group VIDA, consisting of 35 fathers and mothers who hope to find their children "lifted" in this State between 2004 and 2013.

"Our group is very enthusiastic despite the fact that they are elderly people, Silvia and I are the "minors" at 53 years of age, while others in the group are aged between 60 and 70".

"We cross the desert in temperatures of 40 degrees, under direct sunlight", explains Oscar Sanchez, father of "Fanny".

Members of VIDA discover more human remain, skull in centre of photo

Since last January, VIDA has been moving through the Coahuila desert looking for clandestine graves.
Via email and social networks they receive some locations and in less than 15 tracks, they have found the body of a woman, some remains and three bones, the same items that the State Authorities and Forensic Police have classified as "animal remains".

The corpse of the woman VIDA found

"We are a handful of families waiting to recover their family members with or without life, with or without the Authorities", says Oscar.

Due to lack of resources, VIDA members work in the desert in tennis shoes and light clothes, bathed all day in the sun, carrying cakes in their backpacks, iced water, and some casseroles that they share together.

Their search tools are homemade or improvised, and among them there are machetes, knives, shovels, rakes and some poles.

Oscar was the main teacher after taking some course in citizens forensics and forensic science.

VIDA depart towards the desert aboard a small pickup truck provided to them by a Priest. They have requested support from Companies, Mining Companies and factories, but none have supported them.

Their meagre income to finance their searches arises from raffles and selling hamburgers.

As well as some parents continue searching for their children, others chose to do so and Oscar explains why, " we have a partner that, weeks after his son was "lifted" was called on the telephone. He told him that he was ok and alive. He could not return and asked his parents to stop searching for him".

Otis: they have also been working with another organization in this area, carrying out similar work the United Force for our disappeared in Coahuila (FUUNDEC) as reported in El Siglo de Torreon. These people need all the help they can get so please click your forward button and pass this story on when possible.

Original article in Spanish at Milenio

Otis: I am aware of the rumour that "Fanny" was the alleged girlfriend of El Lazca, presumed dead ex leader of Los Zetas. Her parents strenuously deny the rumour.


  1. What an awful nation Mexico has turned into.

  2. Mexico has laws No Guns. Why do all the Cartels have guns? When I go to Mexico I never take guns. Mexican government must enforce the gun laws. This would stop the killing.

  3. There is War in Mexico, if the US could get involved, it would mean big Bucks for Mexico.

  4. The last time the US was in Mexico, 100 years ago, the US got theirs asses kicked

    1. Deja de vivir en el pasado idiota. Y ayuda para poder vivir en paz.

    2. I think it was 150 yrs ago (more or less) and mexico lost Texas, upper California and New Mexico. But only because they were busy fighting each other. The US kind of rode into VeraCruz then DF and said heres $15 mil. Were taking it, see ya later.

    3. El pasado idiota es causa del presente idiota...
      AND the US would looove to deliver the last strike on its victim mexico, invade with its mercenary for profit military that create the need for their service...

    4. stop posting about something you're apparently IGNORANT about 7:01. You sound as stupid as your post!!! you must be Mexican!

    5. Ignorance is not the property of the mexicans exclusively, there is you for example @8:37pm...

  5. Otis, please post a method to contribute.

  6. Their lives have now become a never ending search for their dearest,the family of 'Fanny ' have done so much searching for her,fuckin heartbreaking..

  7. Who knows how the Lazca rumor started?
    The pictures found on him,resemblance,it does nothing to alleviate the families pain

  8. Alot of realistate to cover!

  9. After 15 years, mundo narco is worth 8 dollars and change, and makes .15 cents a day...
    Chivis spends more on chicles...

  10. Despite "No Guns" belief, it is trivial to demonstrate that "no guns" results in extremely high violence rates. Mexico;s incidence of violence is typical of a country that is essentially disarmed.

    1. No lots of countries are disarmed as you put it and don't have the level of violence that Mexico does.Its lack of rule of law ie. corruption complicity that does it not gun laws.

    2. But a well armed citizen certainly evens the odds and/ or makes a bad guy think about it- the prospect of getting killed by a person acting in self defense. There is no fear of a counter attack by the thugs in Mexico because, at most, the only weapon usually carried by the common man is a machete, and only a dead man brings a knife to a gun fight.

  11. Wrong on every level,that poor woman lying there anonymously dumped.Some strange motherfuckers and cowardly rats on this little plsnet,I say sometimes people give up their right to life,it may not be a deterrent,but gettin rid of them makes sure they never kill another female again


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