WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

Missing Migrants: Families’ Search for Answers and Justice

Friday, 2 December 2016
Washington, DC

AP Photo/Felix Marquez

A Discussion with Families of Central American Migrants that went Missing on the Journey North


Friday, December 2, 2016
9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
1666 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20009

Featuring representatives from:

Comité de Familiares de Migrantes Desaparecidos del Centro de Honduras (COFAMICENH)

Comité de Familiares de Migrantes Desaparecidos del Progreso, Honduras (COFAMIPRO)

Comité de Familiares de Migrantes Fallecidos y Desaparecidos, El Salvador (COFAMIDE)

Grupo de Familias de Guatemala

Grupo de Justicia y Esperanza, Mexico


Fundación para la Justicia y el Estado de Derecho Democrático

This discussion will be held in Spanish and no interpretation will be provided.

A livestream of the event will be available here on the day of the event.

Please RSVP here:

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For more information, contact Hannah Smith: [email protected] or 202-797-2171.

Every year, tens of thousands of migrants pass through Mexico on their journey to the United States, and an unknown number of these migrants go missing along the way. Migrants in transit are preyed upon by both criminal organizations and corrupt government officials, and are often victims of kidnappings, extortion, human trafficking, assault, robbery, and murder. Even when migrants or their families decide to report a crime, they confront a justice system that has largely been unable to properly investigate the crime and hold the perpetrators responsible.

In response to this situation, Mexican, Central American, and U.S. organizations worked with the Mexican government to establish the Unit for the Investigation of Crimes for Migrants within the federal Attorney General’s Office. The Unit oversees the Mechanism for Foreign Support in the Search and Investigation of crimes against migrants, including missing persons’ cases. One goal of this new transnational Mechanism is to expand access to justice to individuals who are not based in Mexico but were victim of a crime committed in Mexico. The Mechanism will allow victims or their family to report the crime to specific Mexican authorities based in the United States or Central America.

Additionally, Central American and Mexican civil society organizations coordinated with the Mexican government to create a Forensic Commission to aid in the identification of migrant remains found in mass graves in northern Mexico. Some positive identifications have been made, but much work remains.

Join us to hear how family members are organizing to push for answers about and justice for their missing loved ones, and how the DC-area community can be involved.