Monument to honor
up to 70,000 over 100,000 people killed in country’s drug war criticized for not naming the dead.
Mexico City has opened a memorial to honor tens of thousands of victims of the country’s drug war.
The government’s official monument was dedicated on Friday, four months after its completion, in a public event where relatives of the missing chased after the dignitaries in tears, pleading for help in finding their loved ones.
Only some victims’ rights groups recognize the monument, while others picked an entirely different monument to place handkerchiefs painted with names and personal messages in protest of the official site, which does not bear a single victim’s name.
“Other organisations asked us for other space because they’re against this one,” Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said at the official dedication of the government monument, which consists of steel panels bearing quotes from famous writers and thinkers.
“What took us so long was trying to get agreement among the groups, and we failed.”
The memorial dispute arises from the fact that the Mexican government has yet to fully document cases of drug war dead and missing, despite constant pleas from rights groups, the public and orders from Mexico’s own transparency agency.
The previous government of Felipe Calderon stopped counting drug war dead in September of 2011 and the new government of Enrique Peña Nieto has only provided monthly statistics for December, and January and February of this year.
Estimates of those killed range from 60,000 to more than 100,000, and the missing from 5,000 to 27,000