Yesterday, on the International Day of the Disappeared, Global Exchange and the People’s Movement for Peace and Justice were honored to give space and give voice to family members suffering from the tragic forced disappearance of their loved ones. We hosted a BiNational webcast: Until We Find Them. We were joined by:
- Pablo Centeno, father of Snider Centeno, disappeared by police forces in Triunfo de la Cruz, Garifuna territory, Honduras.
- José Ugalde, father of Esaú Ugalde, who disappeared on September 14, 2015, at the age of 25, and three months later, was found dead.
- Iakowi:he’ne’ Oakes, Director of the Native American Center of New York.
The conversation was hosted by Carla Garcia of OFRENAH and Marco Castillo, Director of Global Exchange
Thank you to everyone who joined us for this powerful and emotional conversation. If you missed yesterday’s conversation, we invite you to view (and share) it here. (In Spanish here).
Forced disappearances is a growing crisis facing our region. In Mexico, 110,985 people were reported missing from 1964 to August 22, 2023, according to data from the National Registry of Missing or Unlocated Persons. In Honduras, according to police reports, more than 3,037 women were reported missing between 2018 and 2019. In the United States, according to the National Crime Information Center, by 2016 there were 5,712 reports of missing Indigenous women and girls.
This devastating reality does not impact everyone equally, with forced disappearances disproportionately impacting BIPOC communities, economically marginalized communities and vulnerable populations.
We call on the governments of Mexico and the United States to reallocate the resources and funds they use to detain, criminalize and deport migrants to find our disappeared loved ones.
They should put the search for the disappeared at the center of the Bicentennial Agreement and any other binational security cooperation agreement.
The US government must stop the export of weapons to corrupt police and military units and end arms trafficking.
Mexico must declare a national emergency due to disappearances and involve all citizens in the search for the missing and disappeared..
And in all cases, those responsible must be identified, punished to the fullest extent of the law, and all necessary measures must be taken to protect the victims and their families.
We thank all families and organizations dedicated to searching for the disappeared. We invite the public to demand justice and not allow any Government to ignore this crisis.
As long as one is missing, any of us can disappear.