This Mother’s day for many mothers in Mexico is not a day of celebration. Today they will continue searching for their loved ones who have disappeared in the midst of the violence that affects the country. They have walked the miles, traveled through morgues, deserts, wastelands, entire cities trying to find a trace of their sons and daughters. Global Exchange has been walking by their side and today we express our solidarity with them.

Mexico experienced one of its bloodiest chapters in the so-called “War on Drug Trafficking” during the six-year term of Felipe Calderon, as part of the security cooperation agreement between Mexico and the United States known as the “Merida Initiative.” The U.S. government financed armament to the Mexican army, without thinking that this would unleash one of the worst humanitarian crises in the country’s history. This bloodbath left more than 120,000 dead and more than 26,500 people missing, including the disappearance of the 43 students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos de Ayotzinapa teacher’s college  in Guerrero.

This violence left behind mothers who may never be able to hug their children again; daughters and sons who will never see their mothers or fathers again.

Today, mothers from across Mexico will march to the Angel of Independence in Mexico City. In unison they will demand the return of their daughters and sons. The question still remains: where are they?

To support these mothers and families, we must demand the U.S. government stop the sale of arms to Mexico. Bad policies on paper are paid for with lives. We  must put human rights (not weapons deals) at the center of binational cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico.

The United States has the opportunity to support the struggle and search of mothers  who today will march together down Mexico City’s main avenues, carrying the photos of their disappeared sons and daughters on their backs.

In Solidarity,