The missing people are innocent victims of the drugs cartels and, in some cases, the very state authorities who should be protecting them. Now, their families are coming together, tracking down phone signals and scouring Google Earth to uncover for themselves the fates of their brothers and fathers, daughters and mothers
One by one they gather in front of Saltillo’s imposing cathedral in the city’s historic Plaza de Armas square, wearing white T-shirts emblazoned with names, photographs, dates. Tentatively they begin to chant, “Where have they gone, where have they gone, where have our sons and daughters gone?”
These mothers, fathers, grandparents, children, brothers and sisters have gathered in protest, as they try to find out what has become of their loved ones – the missing victims of Mexico’s brutal drug wars and rampant corruption – trying, because nobody else is willing to help them.
Saltillo is the capital of Coahuila, a state in northern Mexico that borders Texas, which, four years ago, became a deadly battleground for cartels fighting over territory. The border regions are crucial transportation routes for drugs – heroin, marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine (better known as crystal meth to Breaking Bad fans) – destined for the insatiable American market.
Violence erupted on the streets when the old power bases were disrupted by internal splits, a proliferation of new cartels and President Felipe Calderon’s ill-fated “drug war” between 2006 and 2012. This war left at least 60,000 dead across Mexico, and swathes of the country awash with bullets and blood. The major battle-grounds have shifted further south of late, but another 14,000 have died since Enrique Peña Nieto came to power last December, according to analysis by respected news magazine Zeta. Leer más de esta entrada