Chronicle of Human Rights Podcast Podcast
Mexico: Maria Marquez de Favela is looking for her son, who has been missing for 6 years
In Mexico, more than 40,000 people are considered victims of enforced disappearances, and more than 26,000 unidentified bodies are still in morgues. These terrifying official figures do not show any lull in spite of the commitments of the new president Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO). Véronique Gaymard met Maria Marquez de Favela and her husband Manuel, who are looking for their missing son for 6 years in Ciudad Juarez in northern Mexico. They denounce the collusion between organized crime and the security forces.
" My name is Maria de Jesus Marquez from Favela, I come from Ciudad Juarez in Chihuahua state, my son is missing, his name is Adrian Favela Marquez. Six years ago, state agents forcibly returned to my home, broke the padlocks, windows, and kidnapped my son and one of his friends who was there. To date, we have no idea where they are. Maria Marquez de Favela came to Paris with her husband at the invitation of ACAT, the Christian organization for the abolition of torture, which presented her with this year's Engel-du Tertre des droits de l'homme prize . An award that rewards the relentless search of the families of the disappeared with associations Human Rights Center, Paso del Norte and Families United for Truth and Justice .
No investigation effort
For now, explains Maria, the authorities have made no effort to find her son who was 27 when he was abducted. " We have no help, the authorities do not want to investigate, it has been proven that they were abducted by police, that's why they do not want to advance our case. So we managed on our own to look for our son everywhere. "
Maria Marquez de Favela is looking for her son everywhere, with his own means. " We agree to look for our missing, we look in the streets, in neighborhoods, in the surrounding hills, in other cities, we search our children with shovels, rakes, we also go to institutions psychiatric; we search everywhere, we look in the wells, up to 50 meters deep, if we find remains, because we seek them alive, but also without life. "
Her husband Manuel insists that neighbors have testified about the presence of state agents during the disappearance of their son. Involvement of the authorities at all levels, he assures. " That's why we're looking for help in Europe, in other countries, with the support of organizations like ACAT and the Paso del Norte center. It is the mobilization through these channels that gives us hope that this forces the authorities to respond to our requests on the search for our missing. We continue to look for them, we have even been trained on how to search for bones in the desert, the identification of clothing, thanks to a training offered by the Paso del Norte center. "
The ACAT prize gives international visibility to Maria and Manuel's fight in the search for their missing son. It also gives them the financial means to continue their quest for the truth. " We, the parents, who are looking for our missing children, we have financial needs, we even have to buy shovels, picks, for research, " insists Maria. " It will also serve us to have more visibility, " says her husband Manuel, " because foreign organizations are highly respected by the authorities. So the fact that they know that we have international support will allow us to be less threatened, and they do not dare to attack us. Of course we are afraid there, but we have to lose that fear, and we feel especially threatened by the authorities. "
Adrian's parents, who have been missing for 6 years, are very hopeful of the new President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador . But at the municipal and state level, the situation is deteriorating and disappearances continue.
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