Sunday, December 3, 2023

Mother sought lost son for year; body was in morgue the whole time

A mother in Guanajuato spent more than a year searching for her son only to discover his remains had been in a morgue all that time.

Juan Carlos López went missing on September 30, 2020 at the market where he worked in Celaya. Aurora, his mother, said Juan Carlos’ burned body was found about a month later, on October 29, in the community of Ojo Seco, 18 kilometers south of Celaya.

However, Aurora said, the state Attorney General’s Office waited more than 12 months to notify her that his remains were being held by the Forensic Medical Service (Semefo).

The grieving mother complained about the attention she received from the authorities.

“It’s a very sad thing when you go to the Attorney General’s Office. You go back and forth and there are no results, there is nothing … he spent a year in the Semefo and one goes back and forth investigating and they never said anything,” she said.

Aurora added that the criminal investigation seemed equally negligent.

“They were going to check the cameras, they already had a witness … [they said] that the cameras didn’t work, that they had nothing, no result, that there was no progress, ” she said. “If it took more than a year to give an answer, I’d say that they didn’t do their job as they should. How can it be possible that they found [his remains] after almost a month, why did it take a year to give information to me? Why put someone in that situation?”

Guanajuato was the most violent state in Mexico in 2021; it has held the undesirable title since 2019. Numerous criminal groups are fighting each other for control there, including the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel.

Celaya, a city of around half a million people, was the most violent place in the world in 2020, according to the report by a Mexican non-governmental organization, the Citizens Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice.

However, despite the humanitarian disaster facing Mexico, authorities have admitted that that they are ill equipped to deal with past murders. Deputy Interior Minister Alejandro Encinas acknowledged in December that there were more than 95,000 missing people in Mexico, most of whom disappeared in the last 15 years.

Encinas conceded that the government doesn’t have the capacity to guarantee the identification of 52,000 bodies in common graves and morgues and to ensure they are returned to their families.

With reports from Milenio

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