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

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Effects of the Disappearance of a Parent

By Edgar Avila | Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat

When violence knocked on the door of his house, it struck everyone equally, even the smallest in the family.

The disappearance of the head of the family left in the limbo any explanation that could be given to Marcos, 6, to call it somehow, because the fear left by the incursion of crime in his home still does not let them fully adhere back into their old daily life.

The father of the child, Juan Manuel, 28, was swallowed up by the land in the port of Veracruz, as well as the other 2,312 veracruzanos who only exist in the official figures of denouncements, but who were physically absent from their homes in the middle of a war between drug cartels, the official fight against crime and many other factors.

It was in 2013 when they never again heard from the man, although they discovered that the last time he was seen alive, he had been “detained” by alleged police officers, a version that they have not yet been able to verify.

“How do you explain to a child that his father is missing, that he isn’t dead, that he’s alive, but that he is not with us,” says his mother.  They have not yet found a way to tell him, because she doesn’t even known if her husband “went to heaven” or if he’s still in captivity.

When he last saw his dad, he was three years old, but to this day, he keeps asking about him and he always asks older people if he went to heaven, because he would like to reach him.  No one dares to confess to him that he died, because everyone is hopeful that he will appear alive someday, but they also won’t tell him where he is.  The child became more withdrawn and sometimes even has nightmares at night, most of the time when “by accident” he listens to adult conversations about remembering or giving details about who might be behind it.

In the street, seeing police officers, especially those who are armed to the teeth, he tries to get away from them, and although he says nothing to his mother, she realizes that he does it because he has heard that the police are identified as being the ones for causing his father to not return home.

He continues playing because – according to specialists in thanatology – because of his age, he still doesn’t understand what is happening, but there are days that he feels distant from the world around him, a world of fondness and love.

On the contrary, in the municipality of Tierra Blanca, Elvira Gómez López still does not dare tell her five year old granddaughter that her father, Rodrigo Gómez López, disappeared on September 19, 2013.

“There is no explanation… I don’t have to explain why; we only think that they disappeared and that the government is responsible for all this, because they don’t put a stop to this,” says the woman.

That day, on the Tierra Blanca-Córdoba highway, they disappeared to of her sons: Rodrigo Gómez López, 19, and Juan de Dios Gómez López, 17.

Everyone was affected.  One of the sisters of the disappeared tried to commit suicide at the age of 15; another one still doesn’t understand what happened, and the daughter of Rodrigo still hopes to see him with millions of pesos in his pockets because they made her believe that he went to work in the United States.

“Her daughter thinks that her father is going to come back with a lot of money because he’s working a lot, when I go out looking for him, or at the meetings, I tell her that I’m going to go get him and she says, ‘Ay, my dad is going to come back really rich from where he works,’” she says.

“Everyone is more rebellious and one of my children, who is now 16, asks me why this happened; the other was about to take her own life when she turned 15. 

“Overnight, they are snatched away without being able to ask why, when, or who was it…nothing,” she says.

Source: El Universal


  1. Incredibly sad. This is an ignorant question, but why would the police take someone? Is that a case where the police are working with cartels, or maybe someone didn't pay extortion money? Or maybe they are not police at all. Cartels do what they want so I don't know why they would have to pose as police to disappear someone.

    It's horribly painful to think the police just grab you up at your house and then nothing ever happens. If the family asks questions, they probably disappear also. MM

    1. @257pm. The police in mexico most of the time have paid crooked agents in the departments who would usually kidnap victims under any excuse...and the turn them over to the cartel.kind of like the 43 in mexico is better to stay away from police and narcos...because they are same.

    2. 2:57 Drugs is a huge industry in Mexico . Many many police over there are dirty . It used to always be commonplace for the local police to shake down tourist for cash . you could often buy a extortionist cop for $5 us in 1980 . I have done it . Cops are on payroll on this side of the border also but mostly in key useful locations . Some may even become cops with their sole intention being dirty .

    3. There is a need for slaves all over mexico, farming mining, prostitution, sicario jobs, pozoleros, and a few get snatched because they "just owe" fees, their disappearance will teach others a lesson, there is also the organ donor program, davideo rockefeller has had about 5 heart transplants, and dick cheney is not a heartless guy thanks to some anonymous donor he does not care about, he just loves that he has his new heart.
      La marrana duarte made his millions from everything and everybody for more than 20 years and the police has always been the front line of the politicians shoulder to shoulder with the narcos.

    4. Thanks for the insight. Someone from Guatemala told me once that people steal babies, and I thought it was the craziest thing I'd ever heard. Now I know better. It is horribly sad.

    5. If the cops are extorting more, it is because their greedy bosses commanded by policias judiciales federales chilangos are demanding their motherfacking plaza fees, forget about splitting the take or paying a share, it is a high quota, and people get killed for it...

  2. Absolute nightmare scenario,just about the worst thing you could imagine happening to your dearest,armed people invading your home and taking the relatives that you live with day in day out,that you eat with,laugh with,see every day..Cant imagine it ?

  3. I never thought of how this all affects the kid's, after this I want to cry for them.

  4. Thanks for yet another heartbreaking reminder.

  5. Why lie to the kid, just tell em the truth so he doesn't grow up to be what killed his dad.

    1. 9:35 how do you know what their dads
      or what they "grew up to be"?
      Did your parents know they raised you a big mouth??

  6. What happened to the post about the money bust from the speeding cars?

  7. Apparently there's this new group calling itself LA Nueva Alianza thats been taking out chapos people in mazatlan claiming that they are kidnapping and extroting people in the area.

  8. On a different subject .


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