Mothers in Mexico ask for international support due to state inaction on disappearances

By Jeny Pascacio

On Thursday, March 7, Adriana Gómez and Isabel Torres arrived in Mexico City to demand justice, given the inaction of the authorities in Chiapas in investigating the femicide of the girl Jade Guadalupe Yuing Gómez at the Institute of Sports (Indeporte) and the disappearance of the adolescent Cassandra Isabel Arias Torres. 

Both mothers are members of the Mothers in Resistance Collective and coordinated with activist and human rights defender Irinea Buendía, with the Women in Search of Fernanda Cayetana and the Madres Buscadoras (Searchinng Mothers) of Quintana Roo to hold a commemorative vigil on the occasion of International Women’s Day. 

At 4 p.m. on March 7, mothers and relatives of women victims of different forms of violence from Chiapas, Quintana Roo and the State of Mexico simulated a cemetery in Mexico City’s Zócalo. On boards they placed synthetic grass to make tombstones forgotten by the authorities, but with butterflies posing on them.

They placed images, flowers, pink crosses and candles. On the metal fences that shield the presidential building every 8M, the mothers wrote “Mexico feminicida”, “Chiapas feminicida” and next to the phrases, the names of their daughters.

A few meters from this wall, representative of the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and to one side of the cemetery, the mothers of missing persons placed the banners with their demands and search cards. 

The vigil concluded at 9:00 a.m. on March 8. Hours later, the mothers participated in the mega commemorative march, supported by other mothers’ collectives in search of justice. 


“We have to leave the state [of Chiapas] to expose the reality because we are the mothers who will not stop, who will not be silent because we are fed up with all the violence in the states, with the anomalies of the authorities,” expressed Adriana Gómez. 

Gomez is the founder of Mothers in Resistance Chiapas, but her struggle began on January 10, 2020, when her daughter, 13-year-old Jade Guadalupe Yuing Gomez was murdered during the time she was practicing judo at Indeporte.

The management of the place contaminated the crime scene, but Adriana conducted her own investigation and proved that her daughter did not commit suicide, as they have said. Even the teenager’s body was found with an injury on her foot; and in a notebook she wrote that she was afraid of her coach. 

 She presented the evidence to the Chiapas authorities, but no progress has been made, and they even deny her the resources to work with forensic experts from outside the prosecutor’s office. “It has been four years of physical, economic and emotional exhaustion,” Adriana adds. 

In this struggle, Adriana met activist Irinea Buendía and mother of Mariana Lima Buendía who was 28 years old when she was murdered by her husband on June 28, 2010 in the State of Mexico. Her case, as well as Jade’s, was classified as suicide. 

Irinea, also an activist, achieved in her struggle that the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) ordered to reopen the case in 2015 to investigate it as femicide. 

At that time, the Mariana Lima Buendía ruling was issued. The ruling is historic and sets a precedent, providing assurances of non-repetition. The Organization of American States took it up again for Latin American countries, contrary to the 32 Prosecutor’s Offices of the Mexican entities that refuse to integrate it into the criminal procedure codes.

“Resist until we find you.”

Isabel Torres joined Mothers in Resistance because on December 17, 2022 her daughter Cassandra Isabel Arias Torres was disappeared by an armed group that broke into her wedding, and which carried the insignia of the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) of Chiapas. 

The events took place in a party room in the municipality of Berriozábal, the same place where Germán Alegría Estrada, secretary of Municipal Public Security, who was kidnapped on February 23 and found dead a few hours later, along with two other men, was recently laid to rest.

Cassandra’s mother is now waiting for the FGE to notify the mayor of Berriozábal, Jorge Arturo Acero Gómez – who will seek reelection with Morena – to come forward to testify because, at the time, he denied Cassandra’s disappearance and said that it was simply a fight. 

If no progress is made in finding her daughter’s whereabouts, Isabel asks that the Chiapas Prosecutor’s Office be declared incompetent so that the case can be taken over by the federal authorities and the officials involved be investigated. 

Isabel, as part of Mothers in Resistance, documents the struggle on social networks and, through that medium, she was contacted by Deisy Noemí Blanco Chi, mother of the girl Fernanda Cayetana Canul Blanco, who disappeared on July 21, 2020 in the Continental zone of Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo. 

Fernanda Cayetana’s search card was also displayed in the zocalo of Mexico City this March 7 and 8, because no authority has given continuity to the investigation despite the fact that Deisy got the clue of the man and woman who took her daughter. 

Her investigation took her from Quintana Roo to San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, and in the process she sought the accompaniment of the Mothers in Resistance. Deysi says that although she managed to arrest the perpetrators of the disappearance, the authorities have not been able to get them to talk about Fernanda Cayetana’s whereabouts and she has no support from the state government, much less the municipal government.

The Wall

In view of these inconsistencies, the mothers and relatives of the victims took advantage of the activities in Mexico City to present their cases before the Senate and the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation. They also met with representatives of the Political Affairs Department of the Mexican Embassy. 

“We as victims are asking for help from other countries,” reiterated Adriana Gómez. The mothers point out the need for the issue of disappearances and femicides to be put on the agenda of the ambassadors. 

“The people who live in the Highlands and Sierra of Chiapas are being displaced by violence at the hands of organized crime and there is no response either,” say the Chiapas mothers who have also accompanied some families from these regions. 

“The people who live in the Highlands and Sierra of Chiapas are being displaced by violence at the hands of organized crime and there is no response either,” say the Chiapas mothers who have also accompanied some families from those regions. 

Upon her return to southern Mexico, Isabel Torres shares that she would like the same number of women in the marches to support the causes of the mothers, sisters, daughters of the victims of femicide and disappearance, so that in unison the phrase: “if they touch one, they touch us all becomes effective.” 

In less than a year Mothers in Resistance accompanied nine cases of disappearance in the Central region of the state of Chiapas alone, without counting the disappearances in the municipalities with “curfews” by organized crime and where violence worsens with the ticking of the clock. “Every day there are more disappeared, that is my opinion. In Chiapas every day people are murdered or disappear,” says Isabel.


A representation of mothers marched in the capital of Chiapas, where the demonstration was marred by the division caused by the presence of political actors who, due to the electoral process, led contingents.

In the coming days the Mothers in Resistance will issue a statement against this old practice of Mexican politicians to take advantage and try to benefit from women’s struggles.

 “Without a doubt the advances we have had in Mexico, such as the Olimpia Law, the Law of Access to a Life Free of Violence, the Ingrid Law and the Malena Law, are the product of women’s actions in protest and the actions behind the protest: organization, study, meetings and the generation of networks,” Muñoz emphasizes.

Original text published in Avispa Midia on March 11, 2024.
Translation by Schools for Chiapas.

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