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Back in 2013, Lucía Díaz Genao was living a quiet life in the eastern state of Veracruz, Mexico, when one of her three children, her son Luis Guillermo, was kidnapped.

Luci fell into a terrible depression, but she soon realized that Mexican authorities weren’t doing enough to find Luis Guillermo. She realized that she needed to take action.

Read the episode transcript here.

“I need to find not only my son. I need to find them all because I’m not going to be satisfied with just finding my son. That’s too selfish,” Lucía told Latino USA.

In this episode, Lucía, or Luci, as she’s commonly called, walks us through her painful journey and how she transformed her anguish into activism. She leads Colectivo Solecito, one of the most recognized collectives searching for missing people in Mexico. At Solecito, which means little sun in Spanish, Luci has joined efforts with hundreds of other mothers like her, fighting bureaucracy and impunity to search and find their missing loved ones.

For more than a decade now, Lucía has been looking for her missing son. Along with other mothers, she does the job of diggers and forensic professionals, finding on their way illegal graves.

In 2016, Solecito mothers were at a Mother’s Day demonstration in Veracruz when two men jumped out of a vehicle and handed the women a hand-drawn map with crosses. The map will lead the mothers to Colinas de Santa Fe, one of the biggest mass graves in Latin America.

The mothers and other relatives of missing people in Colectivo Solecito began to literally dig into the dirt, using a stick with a “t”-shaped top to go deep into the ground and then pulling it back out to smell the top of it in search of the odor of corpses that would guide them to bodies illegally buried in that place. By August 2019, they had found close to 300 skulls and over 22,500 human remains at Colinas de Santa Fe.

“People say: ‘ But are you going to be doing this for the rest of your life?’ That’s exactly the way it looks. And, and I don’t mind. I know I have to find my son, and not only my son, because it’s not only about him anymore. If I find him and I don’t find the others, I’m not going to be happy. I’m not going to be complete. So I have to find them all. And, uh, or at least continue trying’,” Luci told Latino USA.

Featured image courtesy of Lucía Díaz Genao.

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