"I've been crying for the past eight years. I just want to know what happened to him," Maria Guadalupe Aguilar, whose son Jose Luis disappeared in 2011, pleaded during the Mothers’ Day march.
The demonstrators of the Movement for National Dignity event continued a 23-city march which, they say, aims to memorialize some 40,000 people who remain missing since the start of the country’s drug war under former President Felipe Calderon.
"We're raising our voices so that what happened to our children doesn't keep happening," Lourdes de la Cruz, whose son Daniel disappeared in the city of Coatzacoalcos along with 30 other people in 2015, noted.
The ex-head of state’s $100-billion Merida Initiative has resulted in the deaths of some 250,000 Mexicans, according to Prensa Latina. About 1,100 illegal graves have been found, some with dozens of bodies piled together.
Earlier this year, human rights undersecretary Alejandro Encinas said Mexico as an “enormous hidden grave.”
“It’s estimated that there are currently 40,000 disappeared persons, more than 1,100 clandestine graves and around 26,000 unidentified bodies in morgues... that gives an account of the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis and the violation of human rights that we are confronting,” Encinas explained.
Spokesperson of Coahuila (also known as United Forces for our Missing) Maria Elena Salazar noted “We have nothing to celebrate. Even though we have other children, one of them isn’t with us. While we don’t know what happened, we can’t let this date go by unnoticed.”
On Friday, mothers of the missing, in Veracruz and Ciudad Victoria, could be heard chanting the slogan “They took them alive, we want them back alive!”
Marchers representing hundreds of social organizations have also participated in demonstrations to demand justice for those who are still missing, which also includes the case of the Ayotzinapa 43, the news agency disclosed.
According to an AP report, demonstrator Rocio Morales, whose son Pedro Morales Gonzalez was kidnapped over a decade ago, displayed a banner and disclosed that she had been marching for many years.
Mothers in Mexico City gathered at the Monument in Insurgentes and Paseo de la Reforma and called on the State Search Commissions to show more interest and use greater effort to find their sons.
Some family members of the disappeared have, over the years, launched their own investigations after becoming impatient with the pace at which the Mexican authorities have conducted the inquiries.