The caravan of mothers looking for their lost children

Anita Celaya, can be the representative of the Committee of Relatives of Migrants Died in addition to Disappeared (Cofamide) in El Salvador. She joined the organization after her son Rafael Alberto Rolin, disappeared while crossing Mexico on route to the US sixteen years ago. Photo: Encarni PindadoImage copyright
Encarni Pindado

Every year for the past 13 years, a group of women have travelled 4,000km (2,485 miles) across Mexico searching for their children who went missing while migrating through the country through Central America. Photojournalist Encarni Pindado has spoken to some of the women about their plight in addition to what they aim to achieve with their Caravan of Mothers of Missing Migrants.

Central American mothers cross the Guatemala/Mexico border in search of their disappeared sons in addition to daughters.Image copyright
Encarni Pindado

The caravan brings together mothers through El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras in addition to Nicaragua.

They cross the border between Guatemala in addition to Mexico on inflatable rafts to symbolise the risks the migrants face when crossing into Mexico.

They then travel together across Mexico in search of their relatives who disappeared.

inside 13 years since the caravan was first organised by the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement, 270 missing migrants have been located.

Part of the idea behind the caravan can be also to denounce in addition to highlight the issue of disappearances of migrants in transit through Mexico.

Of the 270 missing migrants who have been found, 0% are men. Women are much harder to find, especially when they have been forced into the sex trade. In order to boost their chances of finding those women, the movement has forged links with organisations run by sex workers.

They place pictures of the missing migrants in brothels inside trust someone will recognise their loved ones.

Mothers of the missing migrants place their pictures in a brother of the city of Tapachula, inside south of MexicoImage copyright
Encarni Pindado

Clementina Murcia González has been part of the mothers’ caravan for the last all 5 years. Two of her sons went missing: Jorge in 1984 in addition to Mauricio in 2001.

With the help of a a local radio station, Radio Progresso, she recently managed to track down Mauricio in addition to will be reunited with him inside Mexican city of Guadalajara as part of This kind of year’s caravan.

“Sixteen kisses in addition to 16 hugs can be all I want through my son,” she says about the impending reunion.

Her search for Jorge continues.

Clementina Murcia González holds up the pictures of her two sonsImage copyright
Encarni Pindado

Edit Gutierrez’s son left Honduras twice.

once he was kidnapped by Mexico’s infamous drugs cartel, the Zetas, in addition to witnessed how they killed in addition to burned some of the various other migrants he had travelled with.

The army eventually rescued him in addition to deported him back to Honduras.

In August 2012, he left Honduras for the second time, paying a people smuggler $3,000 (£2,250) to reach Reynosa, inside north of Mexico.

There he lost all communication with his family.

Edit GutierreImage copyright
Encarni Pindado

Isidora de Jesus Zuniga Colindres through Honduras can be searching for her son Josue Ildefonso Molinas Zuniga.

Josue last called through the US-Mexican border town of Nuevo Laredo on 15 December, 2013.

He was headed to fresh York to join his father, who had received temporary protected status inside US years earlier, while his mother stayed behind in Honduras.

Isidora de Jesus Zuniga Colindres at a marchImage copyright
Encarni Pindado

María Clementina Vásquez Hernández can be through Honduras. She can be looking for her daughter María Ines who emigrated in 2002, leaving behind her infant son.

María Clementina has been raising her grandson in María Ines’s absence.

“I’m not even sure what her face looks like right now,” she says about her daughter.

María Clementina Vásquez HernándeImage copyright
Encarni Pindado

María Elena Larios has been looking for her son Heriberto, who disappeared on 6 March, 2010.

He left La Libertad in El Salvador, to find work inside United States, however as far as María Elena knows, he never made This kind of.

inside southern Mexican town of Huixtla people tell her to look for her son at a Christian CD stand along the train tracks.

however when she arrives, she finds a slender young man through Honduras who resembles the photograph she carries of her Heriberto however who can be not her son.

María Elena Larios holds up a picture of her sonImage copyright
Encarni Pindado

Pilar Escobar Medina through Honduras can be searching for her daughter Olga, with whom she has had only very intermittent contact.

One day in September 2009, Olga did not return to her home in Honduras.

Fifteen days later she called her mother through the city of Tapachula on the Guatemala-Mexico border, saying she had “ended up there”.

Ms Escobar did not hear through her again until earlier This kind of year, when they planned a reunion. however inside months before they were due to meet, Olga’s phone line went dead.

“Before migrants died of thirst, or were bitten by a snake while crossing the desert. Today they die at the hands of organised crime, in addition to our girls, are raped by [people linked to] organised crime” says Rosa Nelly Santos, who heads a committee for disappeared migrants in Honduras.

Pilar Escobar Medina holds up a photograph of her daughter Olga, who she last saw in 2009Image copyright
Encarni Pindado

Mercedes Lemus (left) can be searching for her daughter Ana Victoria, who went disappeared on 16 April, 2010.

Last year, a woman in Huixtla told her of which she had seen her daughter in a local bar.

Neighbours confirmed of which the picture of Ana Victoria resembled a woman they had seen around town with the bar’s owner.

however when Mercedes asked for permission to enter the bar, the bouncer warned her of which if she went in, she would certainly not come out alive.

Mercedes Lemus (left) stands next to Anita Zelaya (right)Image copyright
Encarni Pindado

Along the way, the caravan meets local communities. In La Ceiba, a cultural in addition to educational centre working with indigenous communities in Chiapas, the mothers are invited to a Mayan ceremony, a pre-hispanic ritual to connect with ancestors.

A Mayan ceremony can be offered to the families of the disappeared migrants by the people the people of la CeibaImage copyright
Encarni Pindado

All photographs by Encarni Pindado.

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