May 10: day of mourning, resistance and gratitude

Like every May 10, this Tuesday cloying messages about the kindness of mothers will circulate, restaurants will be filled, flower sales will overflow despite inflated prices and those who only remember their little mother on this day will celebrate her dedication or limit themselves to “fulfill” an empty ritual. In contrast to this exalted devotion for a day, thousands of mothers will spend it with sorrow for the absence of their disappeared sons and daughters, their murdered daughters or their unjustly tortured and imprisoned sons; or with anguish for the safety of their daughters threatened by strangers who prowl the streets in search of new prey… Many of them, despite their mourning or desperation, today like other days, will give the country and their communities an example of dignity and resistance against necropolitics and the indifference of a government that only remembers them to exalt their abnegation or order them to stop their misguided children.

Going from mourning to resistance, transforming anguish into a fight for justice is not easy, least of all in a violent country, with run-down institutions, misogynistic officials and a continuous policy of simulation now aggravated by populist and polarizing discourses that stigmatize those who question the patriarchal order, arbitrariness and impunity. In a country where women are killed “because they can”, where disappearances are minimized, where vicarious violence is disdained, that which is cruel against sons and daughters to hurt mothers, where justice is denied to so many victims, maintaining dignity and persisting in the search for justice is a feat. A feat that is not inscribed in gold letters on the cameras, nor is it named in the history books, but that saves us from absolute degradation and suffocation.

The mothers who have been organizing the March for National Dignity for twelve years to remind us of the black hole of disappearances and who today shout “Until we find them!” they represent a light of hope on a dark horizon. If they persist in the fight for justice, despite governments that are negligent and in collusion with criminals who can even control the passage to a clandestine cemetery, Mexican society has not completely lost its way. If year after year, they and the mothers of girls devoured by the femicide machine take to the streets to denounce impunity and remind us that violence threatens us all (and all of us), the future is not completely closed for Mexican women.

The struggle of these women and their families is not an ephemeral spectacle, it is a daily collective action, a daily effort. Some search with a pick and shovel, others learn to use technology to locate extermination zones, others investigate their daughters’ last route to find the murderers; still others visit courts again and again to file complaints, follow up on files, file amparo appeals to reopen the files against femicides, rapist parents, anonymous traffickers; others organize with their neighbors to demand security around schools where girls disappear… All face the incapacity and apathy of the State, the cruelty of authorities who blame the victims and threaten or subject the complainants to trial; they are even exposed to the cynicism of the media that scrutinizes their lives but ignores the criminal context and government negligence.

They, Paula, Norma, Maricela, Araceli, Ceci, Mariel, Mónica and thousands of other women, accompanied by family members, allies and diverse groups, have done and are doing a job that corresponds to the State, they maintain a constant fight for human rights to life, to justice, which concerns the whole of society.

His commitment to life, justice and truth demands the active solidarity of all, an effective gratitude for his indispensable work.

Lucia Melgar

culture criticism


She is a professor of literature and gender and cultural criticism. She has a doctorate in Latin American literature from the University of Chicago (1996), a master’s degree in history from the same university (1988) and a bachelor’s degree in social sciences (ITAM, 1986).

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