We are families from Chiapas who are looking for our relatives who migrated to the interior of the Mexican Republic or to the United States of North America in search of work and for the love of family. Our relatives left to be able to have access to health, food, housing, education or to pay debts that were formed in this context of a life of poverty.
The dream of providing something better for the family fell apart and has become a nightmare without having information from our relatives. Today we recognize that they are missing. We shout it out and demand truth, justice and non-repetition!
The disappearance has multiplied the sorrows and pains of all the families of the “Junax Ko’tantik” Committee:
First, for living with anguish, sadness, uncertainty. Where are they? What happened to them? Have they eaten? Do they feel hot or cold? Are they being tortured? Are they being exploited? Are they alive? When are they going to return? When are they going to give me news about my father, my daughter, my brother? These and other questions haunt our thoughts.
For the families that have notification of the location of remains or some location information, they are still waiting for the truth, they do not know who murdered their relative. What happened to them when they crossed the desert? They also do not know when they will receive the remains of their relative. They even see the transfer or repatriation of remains as far away, either due to lack of money or contacts that will expedite the procedures.
Second, for facing the violence of the State, everything we know has already been denounced by the Chiapas Prosecutor’s Office and the State Search Commission. Accessing these instances has been very difficult because the majority of us belong to indigenous peoples, we do not live near Tuxtla Gutiérrez and every time we arrive they ask us if we families have more information to provide, when we already told them everything we know, the only answers that these bodies have given us are:
- We sent your investigation to the last place of contact you had with your relative and they do not tell us who is now conducting the investigation, they do not give us any email or telephone number to try to communicate, added to the fact that we do not have the means or the experience to go to the states where they sent our investigations.
- The other answer is, we have already sent the letters so that the Search Commissions in the States of the last communication search for your relative, we got to ask for the response to those letters and at that moment they tell us that the people responsible for the Search Registries are not there, they went to the field search.
Both actions by public servants result in a total lack of access to justice and violate our dignity, coupled with the fact that our disappeared relatives are still not listed in the National Registry of Disappeared Persons and no family from the Committee has been registered as a victim of disappearance in the National Registry of Victims (RENAVI) or in the State Registry of Victims in Chiapas.
In 2021, we had multiple working groups with the Chiapas Prosecutor’s Office Against Disappearances and the Commission for the Search for Disappeared Persons, we signed agreements, they gave us responses in drips and then they closed all communication, today we demand that they open the doors to continue the dialogues and that together we find search and investigation routes that lead us to our disappeared relatives and justice for those who have committed these crimes.
It is for this reason that we believe it is important to install the Citizens’ Council in the State of Chiapas so that the voice of the families is heard, but to date the call for its formation has not been issued.
Third, for suffering generalized violence as women, belonging to indigenous peoples, and that the impoverishment of life touches us. All of this makes us feel helpless and very lonely, nobody understands us, nobody listens to us, nobody does anything so that we have answers, the only family we have is the Committee where we can pour out our hearts and give ourselves the strength to carry on, today we tell mothers and all families: Do not get tired of looking for your daughters and sons, until you find them! [We send you] A lot of strength to continue looking for the missing persons!
In the Committee there are women and men with severe effects on their physical and mental health due to the disappearance of their loved ones and they do not have access to healthcare due to the high costs and because healthcare is a privilege that we cannot afford. These affectations are mostly chronic degenerative diseases and organic disability that has led to our compañeros being visually or motor disabled today ; this is also the responsibility of the State and for this reason we demand full reparation for all the damage we have experienced.
Fourth, for facing systematic human rights violations, we have provided the information on the coyotes or guides so that they can be interrogated and say where they left our disappeared relatives or tell what happened, but the prosecutor’s office and the Search Commission have not done anything to contact these people. Nor can we stop migrating because the context of violence and the increase in the cost of living causes people to continue migrating. The State does nothing to give security to our migrants, nor to create safe mechanisms in transit and in jobs at destinations. Migrants are not a priority for the State despite the fact that our country benefits from the remittances they send.
For all of the above, we demand:
- Access to the truth, justice and comprehensive reparation, non-repetition for the disappeared persons and their families.
- Permanent interpreters in the Mayan languages in all prosecutor’s offices and the State Commission for the Search for Missing Persons.
- Access to the State or National Registry of Victims, and to be considered as family victims of disappeared persons.
- Passports and humanitarian American visas to do our searches.
- The call for and installation of the Citizens’ Council to be part of the State System for the Search for Persons in Chiapas.
- The names and positions of the members of the State System for the Search for Disappeared Persons in Chiapas.
- No more practices of corruption, simulation, violence and negligence by public servants.
- Punishment of the culprits.
- Dignified and agile restitution of the remains that have been notified as located to the families of the Junax Ko’tantik Committee.
- Dignified, agile repatriation of the remains that have been notified as located to the families of the Junax Ko’tantik Committee.
- Safety for children and adolescents in Chiapas.
- No more disappearances of innocent people, we want safety in the streets.
Because alive they were taken and alive we want them!
Committee of United Families of Chiapas Searching for our Disappeared Migrants ”Junax Ko´tantik”
Translated by Schools for Chiapas.