The faces of 33 missing citizens of Culiacán, Sinaloa, look out from a second mural painted in that city in memory of the loved ones of the 317 families that make up a search collective called Sabuesos Guerreras, or Warrior Sleuths.
“May the walls speak what people want to keep quiet,” said Isabel Cruz, leader of the collective.
The group worked with a local printmaking shop to make the faces of the disappeared visible to the public on the walls of Culiacán and also in Oaxaca, Cruz’s home state. The first mural they painted in Culiacán features 32 faces.
For the members of the collective, the mural is an art form that will draw attention to those who have gone missing without explanation, as well as aid in searching for them and remind authorities how many people have disappeared in Sinaloa.
They say they want to cover the walls of the city with the faces of the disappeared.
“For us it is the way we shout at the government and say this needs to stop, since every time they report numbers, they grow more and more. We were at 44,000 disappeared people and it’s been raised to over 61,000 . . . We don’t have enough walls to paint all the faces of those we’ve lost,” she said.
The National Search Commission reported in January 2019 that there were over 40,000 people on the National Registry of Missing and Disappeared Persons, but earlier this month it revised that number to over 61,000.
Cruz called on the municipal government to donate walls for the project because she believes the murals have had an impact on residents and even graffiti artists have respected them and not painted over them.
Although the government has not responded to Cruz’s request, another wall next to that of the second mural was recently donated to the cause. The collective will be able to paint around 50 more faces on it.