In solidarity with the Mothers of the Disappeared movement in Mexico, a delegation from Amnesty International Canada will travel to the State of Chihuahua and to Mexico City from May 8th to May 11th to participate in marches and public events and to show support from Canada, help draw attention, and press for reforms and accountability in the face of the massive crisis of disappearances in Mexico. The group will also participate in meetings at the Canadian Embassy between Canada’s Ambassador and other diplomatic officials and family members of the disappeared to discuss the crisis.
In a recent Letter sent to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland in advance of the annual high level dialogue on human rights held between the Canadian and Mexican governments, Amnesty International raised grave concerns related to the human rights situation in Mexico, including the ever-growing epidemic of disappearances in which more than 35,000 people have been reported missing amid large scale criminal violence and state corruption.
“We look forward to this crucial opportunity to bring messages of concern from the thousands of Canadian activists who have demonstrated their support, compassion and solidarity with the tens of thousands of mothers who have lost their loved ones to Mexico’s devastating crisis of disappearances,” said Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada. “We are continuously humbled and inspired by these women’s tireless efforts to seek justice and accountability, even as they grapple with the unimaginable anguish of not knowing what has happened to their children and loved ones.”
Throughout their visit, the Amnesty International delegation will deliver thousands of hand-crafted Monarch Butterflies, carrying colourful and heartfelt messages of concern and support from Canada to relatives of the disappeared in Mexico, as powerful symbols of solidarity. The butterflies were chosen as representative of the interconnectedness between our two countries, recognizing their incredible journeys of migration between Canada and Mexico.
The team will first visit family members in the state of Chihuahua, where the impact of disappearances has been staggering but national and international attention has been very limited. They will then participate in the annual march in Mexico City on May 10th organized by mothers of the disappeared to mark Mothers’ Day in Mexico with renewed calls for action. On May 11th, the delegation will take part in a meeting at the Canadian Embassy in which Ambassador Pierre Alarie will receive a delegation representing the mothers of the disappeared.
“We look forward to the meeting at the Canadian Embassy in Mexico, which will provide a critical opportunity for mothers of the disappeared to share their stories of loss, struggle and determination with Canadian officials. We will be pressing Canada to make sustained efforts to help bring this grave human rights crisis to an end.” said Neve.
The Amnesty International Canada delegation to Mexico will include Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada’s English Branch, Genevieve Paul, Director General of Amnistie Internationale Canada francophone, Karine Gentelet, Chair of Amnistie Internationale Canada francophone, and Kathy Price, Campaigner for human rights in Mexico with Amnesty International Canada’s English branch.
Solidarity Events in Canada
Events in support of the Mothers of the Disappeared movement are also being planned in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver, featuring artistic displays, marches and a delivery of petitions to the Mexican Embassy. Activists in Canada and Mexico will also demonstrate their concern with the crisis and support for the mothers of the disappeared through an online solidarity march using the hashtags #CanadaMexicoSolidarity and #EstoyConElla.
More information is available on the Amnesty International Canada website, and on the Facebook event pages for the public events in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.
Further Information about the Crisis of Disappearances in Mexico:
Mexico: Authorities must refocus investigation into enforced disappearance of 43 students (April 13, 2018)
Mexico: Damning UN report highlights cover-up in case of 43 disappeared students (March 15, 2018)
Mexico: Killing of activist in Tamaulipas highlights government negligence (May 12, 2017)
Mexico: New Ayotzinapa report reveals official determination to sweep tragedy under the carpet (April 24, 2016)
Mexico: Gross incompetence and inertia fuels disappearances epidemic (Jan 14, 2016)
Confronting a Nightmare – Disappearances in Mexico (June 3, 2013)
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