Mexico’s presidential candidates on Monday faced the families of people murdered, mutilated, and kidnapped in drug violence in a meeting that was marked by strong condemnations of corrupt police and politicians.
In a stark reminder of the rampant crime facing Mexico’s next president, distraught family members burst into tears and shouted at the four candidates sitting at the table opposite them in Mexico City’s elegant Chapultepec Castle.
“In your worst nightmares, you couldn’t imagine what it is like to lose your child,” said Margarita Lopez, whose daughter disappeared in the southern state of Oaxaca. “We are thousands of mothers with disappeared children.”
More than 5,000 people have gone missing and around 55,000 have been killed in Mexico’s drug war since President Felipe Calderon took power and launched a military offensive against cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006.