By “El Huaso” for Borderland Beat

In today’s Presidential morning conference, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stated that he is in favor of a negotiated pact between Mexican criminal organizations and missing persons search collectives in order to eliminate disappearances. 

    In the press questions portion of the morning conference, journalist Adriana Esthela Flores asked  President López Obrador if he is favor of a pact between organized criminal groups and missing person search groups to end disappearances, to which the President responded that “he is in agreement” and that he “hopes it will achieve peace”.

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    The proposed pact referenced is a message earlier this week from Delia Quiroa, a searching mother and activist for the disappeared, who addressed the leadership of nine criminal groups in Mexico, petitioning them to end disappearances. The letter, posted on Quiroa’s Twitter page and read aloud on her YouTube channel, details the epidemic of disappearances in Mexico due to drug related violence and proposes a pact as a solution.

    In the letter, Quiroa also focused on the Mexican government’s role, arguing that “the majority of the political class (…) are dedicated to fabricating operations and siphoning government funds”. The letter further details how criminal groups and victims of disappearances are similarly oppressed by the government through “abuses of power”, and argues that criminal groups and Mexican society should “reconcile” and “join together” to end disappearances. 

The three key points of the agreement are:

    1. To respect of a dignified burial of cartel victims, in order to end disappearances.

    2. To respect the lives and free movement of search collectives as they seek their relatives.

    3. To end armed conflict in Mexico, unless in the case of constitutionally protected self defense.

    If an agreement is not reached, Quiroa warns that Mexico risks intervention from the United States, on grounds that the government of Mexico does not provide security to it’s citizens. Quiroa ends by asking the leaders of the named criminal groups, if they agree to the pact, to submit a video of them with the signed letter to Azucena Uresti or Ciro Gomez Leyva, two major journalists in Mexico. 

    There are currently 110,763 missing persons in Mexico according to the National Commission for Missing Persons. In response to this, many have dedicated their lives to searching for their lost loves ones, often forming search collectives such as the one Quiroa represents. These search collectives face grave threats from the government and criminal groups, with 18 been killed since 2010 in Mexico according to journalist Analy Nuño.

    Earlier this year, Teresa Magueyal, a mother searching for her disappeared son was killed in Celaya, Guanajuato, as reported by Borderland Beat.

Sources: Delia Quiroa YouTube video 5/29/23Delia Quiroa Twitter 5/29Conferencia presidente AMLO 5/30/23 (Question at 2:24:17), El Universal 5/28/23, PoliticoMX 5/30/23, Journalist Analy Nuno, Borderland Beat Archives

You can follow me on Twitter @HuasoBB

I tweet about organized crime in Latin America and security in Mexico.