PBI-Mexico accompanies the Fray Juan de Larios Centre for Human Rights at plenary hearing with Governor of Coahuila
On February 1, the Peace Brigades International-Mexico Project posted, “PBI accompanies Fray Juan de Larios, A.C. and the groups of relatives of disappeared persons in the Plenary hearing with the Governor of the State of Coahuila, Miguel Ángel Riquelme and his team.”
PBI-Mexico adds, “The objective of this hearing is to reach agreements for the development and optimal implementation of a strategy to attend to the problem of forced disappearance.”
PBI-Mexico has previously noted, “In the State of Coahuila in the North of Mexico, for years hundreds of families have organised themselves in order to search for their loved ones who have been forcefully disappeared.”
On August 23, 2019, Reuters reported that 2,144 people reported missing in Coahuila have never been found. That news report adds, “The state has identified the remains of 235 missing people through digs…”
In 2017 a state law was adopted with the aim of identifying “each and every disappeared person as well as remains localized in open fields.”
In turn, that law led to an Exhumation Plan that facilitates coordination between authorities and civil society in the search for and identification of bodies.
PBI is an international observer in the Exhumation Plan.
PBI-Mexico has noted some of the challenges with the Exhumation Plan but has commented that it “at least [offers] a glimmer of hope within the bleak panorama of forced disappearance in Mexico.”
The Fray Juan de Larios Centre for Human Rights provides legal aid, psychological assistance and organizational support for the families of the disappeared.
In her reflection on her year in Mexico as a PBI volunteer, United Kingdom-based Camila Marin wrote, “[I travelled] to Piedras Negras in Coahuila, a city along the US border alongside our accompanied organisation, Fray Juan de Larios. Here, I am observing exhumations of unidentified bodies with families who are missing a loved one, being drastically introduced to the reality of forced disappearance. Seeing bodies dug up from the ground was an experience I am unable to put words to at this moment in time, but it is safe to say that I never looked at Mexico’s landscapes in the same way again.”
PBI-Mexico has accompanied Fray Juan de Larios since February 2014.