Dear Michael MacDonald and Mission Mexico friends:
Tlapa de Comonfort, Guerrero
September 22, 2017
The storms, hurricanes, and earthquakes that have caused so much havoc in several states in the southern part of our country, such as Puebla, Morelos, Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Chiapas, have deeply wounded hundreds of families who lost loved ones as well as their most prized possession: their homes. Just in this month of September we have suffered the intensity of nature’s fury; and this is even more painful given the indifferent attitude and stubbornness of the authorities who have attempted to control even the expressions of solidarity of the many Mexican men and women who have taken to the streets to offer assistance; it is amazing to see how the Mexican people have come together to help others.
We are grateful for your concern about what is happening in our country and for your solidarity. We would like you to know that here in the Mountain, in spite of the fact that the rains continue pouring down and the earthquakes have shaken us literally and figuratively, up until now there is no loss of life to report. In the indigenous villages, many people have been on the edge of hunger since the loss of their crops in 2013; and they have been trying to rebuild their own homes, since the government failed to follow through on their reconstruction promises.
We would also like you to know that the mothers and fathers of the 43 disappeared students from the teacher’s college in Ayotzinapa face a particularly difficult time, because the latest tragedy on September 19 meant that the Mexican society has concentrated all of its efforts on rescuing the people trapped within the fallen buildings. We understand that this has to be the priority, and the mothers and fathers of the 43—in the midst of their own pain and despair for not locating their children—have changed their plans in terms of honoring the third anniversary of their children’s disappearance; they have opted to carry out actions of solidarity with the families affected by the earthquakes. This speaks of their noble hearts and of their compassion; just as they have been trying to find their loved ones for three years, their hope is that other families be able to find their loved ones in the rubble of the destroyed buildings. Their example encourages us, as does the example of so many young people who grabbed a pick and a shovel to help to remove the debris that buried hundreds of people.
We will continue to try to respond to the needs of the families of the 43 disappeared students, especially since several mothers and fathers are presently ill, and several have reported that that their homes suffered some damage during the recent quakes.
Receive a fraternal embrace from all of us here at the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Mountain.
Calle Francisco Javier Mina No. 77 Colonia Centro, Tlapa de Comonfort, Guerrero. C.P. 41304.
Teléfono + 52 (747) 47 6 12 00.