Demonstrators in Coahuila yesterday. Demonstrators in Coahuila yesterday.

Marches for missing in four Coahuila cities

Many of the state's missing persons disappeared during violence of 2009-2011

Relatives of missing persons took to the streets in four cities in the state of Coahuila yesterday to demand results from official investigations.

Most of those who have disappeared are victims of the wave of violence that swept over the northern state between 2009 and 2011. Tired of waiting, protesters in Saltillo, Piedras Negras, Allende and Torreón marched to call for justice on the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances.

In the capital city of Saltillo, hundreds of protesters organized a mass of remembrance in a chapel adjoining St. James Cathedral. Hundreds of pictures of those who have disappeared covered the floor in front of the altar in the Catholic church.

“In Mexico, where there are more than 30,000 [enforced disappearances], the government has failed as people continue to go missing,” said the priest officiating at the ceremony, who described forced disappearances as “crimes against humanity that are tearing apart the social fabric.”

The demonstrators moved on to state government headquarters for a rally before marching in downtown Saltillo.

Guadalupe Cepeda, 71, told the newspaper El Universal the story of her son, Raúl, who disappeared in 2009, when he was 25 years old.

“He disappeared more than eight years ago along with 15 other people in Piedras Negras, his coworkers in a transportation company.” The men had traveled to the city in northern Coahuila for a meeting.

“I don’t know if they disappeared on their way there or on their way back,” said Cepeda, who has spent years, along with her husband, doing as other searchers do, looking for their relatives in penitentiaries, cemeteries and hospitals and anywhere else the think they might encounter them.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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