A Mexican Mother’s Search for Justice
by José Espericueta
In early October, Lucía Díaz, founder of Colectivo Solecito, and Dr. Matt Hone, an independent researcher, came to Dallas from Veracruz, Mexico to talk about the thousands of disappeared victims of the country’s ongoing drug violence. The particular event that I helped to organize was in collaboration with Doctors Nils Ackerman and Pedro Gonzalez Corona from the University of Texas at Dallas’s Holocaust Studies Center. It was hosted by the University of Dallas and funded in part by the Dallas Peace and Justice Center.
Lucía told the painful story of the disappearance of her son. In 2013, her son Guillermo, a popular DJ with no connection to the drug cartels in Veracruz, was kidnapped and then disappeared. What makes this all the more heartbreaking is noting that Lucia’s wounds have yet to heal because she knows nothing about his whereabouts. Moreover, she has received little help from law enforcement or government officials. The work to find Guillermo has been undertaken by Lucía and mothers like her because this is not just her story, but that of thousands of other mothers whose children have also disappeared throughout Mexico, most of whom are innocent victims of the country’s drug violence.
Rough estimates put the number of disappeared around 40,000. But this number is likely far greater simply because family members are too scared to reach out to police that may be both corrupt and intertwined with powerful drug cartels. Lucía has left her job as a university professor to form Colectivo Solecito (“Little Sun Collective”) and work with other mothers who are searching for information regarding their children. Much of this work involves following tips, digging for mass graves, and providing a support network for the families of those disappeared. They do work that the police refuse to do, risking their own lives in a search for both justice and closure.