The Office in Mexico of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN-HCHR) condemned the murder of María del Carmen Vázquez Ramírez, a mother searching for her missing child and member of the collective “Personas Desaparecidas de Pénjamo” (Missing Persons of Pénjamo), last Sunday in Abasolo, Guanajuato.
Vázquez Ramírez, who had been searching for her son Osmar Zúñiga Vázquez since June 14 of this year, was murdered on the night of November 6 at the door of her home in the downtown area of Abasolo in Guanajuato by two men on a motorcycle who fled the scene.
In a statement published on their social networks last Tuesday, November 8, Guillermo Fernández-Maldonado Castro, a representative in Mexico of the UN-DH, declared that the murder of María del Carmen is a reminder of the violence faced by searching mothers and collectives of relatives of disappeared persons.
“This unfortunate murder is another cruel reminder that the extraordinary and undeserved risks faced by searcher mothers and groups of relatives of disappeared persons in the country continue to exist”
The official added that “families, in addition to suffering the profound pain generated by the disappearance of their loved ones, are forced to face high-risk situations when taking part in search and investigation actions which, we must not forget, are obligations that correspond to the authorities.”
Likewise, the UN-DH representative in Mexico recalled that almost a year after the official visit of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances to Mexico, the authorities should guarantee the safety and protection of the victims who participate in search processes, as recommended by the international body specialized in the matter and established in the Guiding Principles for the Search for Disappeared Persons.
The Office in Mexico of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights indicated that this crime is in addition to other “deplorable” murders perpetrated this year against mothers searching for their loved ones.
He pointed out that they are also human rights defenders, such as Rosario Lilián Rodríguez Barraza, on August 30 in Sinaloa, and Blanca Esmeralda Gallardo, on October 4 in Puebla. “It is urgent to adopt effective measures to prevent the tragedy that plagues families due to the disappearance of persons from being added to the lack of protection and impunity for these crimes,” reads the communiqué.
In this sense, the UN-DH called on the authorities to fulfill their duty to investigate the murder of María del Carmen Vázquez exhaustively, with due diligence and addressing all lines of investigation, including the possible link with her work in defense of human rights and guaranteeing the full and effective incorporation of the gender perspective in the ministerial investigation.
He also urged the authorities to fulfill their duty to provide comprehensive attention to the family of the searching mother, including security conditions for her and other missing person search groups.
Finally, Guillermo Fernández-Maldonado sent his condolences to the family and loved ones of Vázquez Ramírez and reiterated his commitment to work with the missing person collectives and the corresponding authorities to develop measures for prevention, protection, and the fight against impunity.