Another murder shocks Mexico as it mourns the death of an activist who was searching for her son
The “human tragedy” of more than 100,000 missing people roiled Mexico once again on Wednesday, as authorities announced the killing of an activist, a 44-year-old mother who had been searching for her son, missing since 2019.
A member of a collective of women looking for their missing children, Rosario Rodríguez was abducted by gunmen after attending a prayer service for her child on Tuesday night in the western state of Sinaloa, according to the NGO Adónde van los Desaparecidos (“Where do the disappeared go?” “).
The body of the 44-year-old woman was found a few hours later near a bridge in the community of La Cruz de Elota, according to the same source. “I am deeply saddened by the killing of Rosario Rodríguez Barraza, a tireless fighter like so many other women from Sinaloa who are looking for their loved ones,” was the reaction of the governor of the state, Ruben Rocha, via Twitter.
News of the mother’s murder made headlines in Mexican media the day after the international day for victims of enforced disappearances by state officials.
Her son, Fernando Ramirez, went missing in October 2019. It is not known if he was kidnapped by government officials or organized crime. “It is a priority to solve her murder,” as she was “a woman and a member of an extremely vulnerable group such as those looking for missing persons,” the local prosecutor’s office emphasized.
Many crimes (femicides, kidnappings, murders of journalists…) go unpunished in Mexico. The day before yesterday, relatives of the disappeared marched in various cities to denounce the inefficiency of the authorities in the search for the missing.
More than 100,000 people have disappeared in Mexico, a “human tragedy of enormous proportions,” declared the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in May.
This phenomenon in Mexico dates back to 1964, when the state’s “dirty war” began against various guerrilla organizations in the 1960s and 1970s. But it swelled dramatically in the 2000s, when the violence of drug-trafficking gangs escalated.
Collectives estimate that the number of missing persons is even higher, as many families do not report disappearances to prosecutors due to fear or a lack of trust in the authorities.