Photo: Mothers of the missing migrants
A caravan made up of Central American women whose children went missing in Mexico while trying to reach the United States has set out to try to find out what happened to the migrants.
The caravan - made up of 10 women from Guatemala, 19 from Nicaragua, three from El Salvador and 28 from Honduras - set out Saturday on the 4,600-kilometer (2,858-mile) journey on the so-called “route of the immigrant” in southeast and central Mexico.
“They started today in Guatemala (and) in 24 days they will cover 14 states in southeastern and central Mexico, as well as 23 specific locations in that country identified on the route of the immigrant,” a National Roundtable for Migration in Guatemala, or Menamig, spokeswoman told reporters Saturday.
The women, whose children disappeared in recent months on the journey to the United States, met in Guatemala City on Saturday to discuss the effort to find the missing migrants.
The women took part in religious ceremonies in front of Guatemala City’s Metropolitan Cathedral and held a press conference to denounce officials’ “indifference” regarding the fate of their loved ones.
“Dozens of bodies of supposed migrants have been found in areas in southeast Mexico, but we have not obtained the support of the authorities to identify them,” one of the Honduran women said.
“Different Mexican activists, all supporters, migrants’ shelters, cooperatives, non-governmental organizations (and) universities” will participate in events in the 23 places where the caravan will pass, the Menamig said.
Amnesty International and Mexican National Human Rights Commission representatives will accompany the caravan, the organization said.
An average of 50 Central Americans a day head for the United States, where they hope to find a better future, the International Organization for Migration says.
The Central Americans’ trek across Mexico is a dangerous one, with criminals and corrupt Mexican officials preying on the migrants.
Gangs kidnap, exploit and murder migrants, who are often targeted in extortion schemes, Mexican officials say.
Central American migrants follow a long route that first takes them into Chiapas state, which is on the border with Guatemala, walking part of the way or riding aboard freight trains, buses and cargo trucks.