While the refugee caravan continues to make its way to the U.S./Mexico border — some have already arrived — there’s a new group of people that have also begun the journey. The group is made up entirely of women and they’re not interested in seeking asylum or entering America.
The group is called Caravan of Mothers of Disappeared Migrants and they’re walking to bring awareness to children they’ve lost.
The 25 women, all mothers, sisters, and daughters, are walking alongside the caravan of Central America because just like them, their family members were also looking to escape their violent home country. By speaking to the media, and showing the pictures of their loved ones, they are hoping to bring awareness to countless people that have sought to cross the border and never made it. Their aim is to also show the dangers of walking to the border for thousands of miles without knowing anyone and seek help in finding them.
Despite their family being lost, the women say they will continue to look for them until their whereabouts are known.
“We look in parks, on trains, in camps, we post photos,” Katalina Lopez, a mom from Guatemala, told NBC News. “We inform other mothers looking for their children. We can’t rest.”
This is not the first time the caravan of women has begun a pilgrimage looking for their missing family members. The walk began with 11 mothers in 2006.
With the help of Mesoamerican Migrant Movement — a nonprofit Mexico City-based organization — some women have actually been able to locate their loved ones. According to NBC News, the group has found 300 missing migrants.
One of those looking to have good news as well is María Elsa Ramírez, from Nicaragua who is searching for her sister-in-law who’s been missing since 2017. Ramírez said that her sister-in-law was traveling with her son, and while the son crossed over to the U.S. alone, his mom stayed behind with the coyote for an unknown reason.
“My heart isn’t broken,” Ramírez said to NBC News, “because she is alive and one day we will find her.”
This week, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico said 100 migrants are currently missing.
“The office in Mexico of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has received information about a group of migrants who would have boarded two buses apparently not identified in the state of Puebla and whose whereabouts would be unknown,” said Chile president Michelle Bachelet, according to Telesur.
On Nov. 11, the Comisión Nacional de Los Derechos Humanos, pleaded with local state agencies to provide security to help protect the caravan and keep people together.
“We ask federal and state authorities to consider the situation of extreme vulnerability of Caravana Migrante to provide security and surveillance on roads and facilitate humanitarian transfer to women, seniors, and children,” the Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos tweeted.
In the picture above, volunteers and workers with civil rights organization, hold hands and make a human chain in order for the caravan group to stay together when exiting and entering buses.
The women in search for their families aren’t making outlandish demands from the government, they just want answers and help.
¡Gracias…. Los Queremos!!!El mensaje de la madres centroamericanas al pueblo de México, a las organizaciones, colectivos y personas solidarias. Ellas retornaron esta mañana a sus paises de origen, fortalezidas y con la esperanza viva.www.movimientomigrantemesoamericano.org
Posted by Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano on Friday, November 9, 2018
“We, the mothers of the world,” they stated on the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement website, “We demand that the separation of families be stopped since it is an inhuman and degrading practice. This separation of families takes place in detention centers, and as a result of forced migration and deportations…We demand that States assume their responsibility to respect the law and guarantee human rights. Our territories and our seas have become large pits. We oppose the normalization of this violence….We demand that free transit be guaranteed to migrants, under conditions of security, and of mothers, family members and their allies who seek their missing relatives in the territories where they may be found…We demand the right to truth and the clarification of facts.”