PUEBLA, Mexico – Adrian and Bryan LeBaron, relatives of the Mormons massacred in November in the northwest of Mexico, joined a march for justice on Sunday in Puebla, where the murder of three university students occurred last weekend.
On Family Day, celebrated on March 1, they raised their voices and demanded justice in the face of these crimes in Mexico, a nation that suffered 34,582 murders in 2019.
Civil associations conducted a peaceful demonstration in which they shared stories of pain amid unpunished crimes and missing relatives.
The Mexican government has registered 61,637 missing persons.
Dressed in white and holding banners demanding justice, the protesters urged the three levels of government implement security strategies that guarantee peace, as in several cases, more than five years have gone by in search of answers without clear responses.
“They say that young people, by nature, believe that they can make a change, that they can make a difference, that they can improve things. And it turns out that at the end of the day it always happens, so I have immense confidence in our youth. My hopes are all on our youth,” said Adrian LeBaron.
The Mormons joined the march to support the “pain” experienced by people who have also lost loved ones. They have been seeking justice since November, when six children and three women in their community were killed in an organized crime attack on the border of the northwestern states of Sonora and Chihuahua.
More than a thousand people joined the cause of students from the Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla and the Popular Autonomous University of Puebla on Sunday.
Adrian said that these types of marches are fundamental in joining forces because no fight is overcome individually.
He stressed that the new generations are overcoming the criticisms and fears they may feel about raising their voices, and are exemplifying change in Mexico.
“Because honestly we had to live an era where we let ourselves corrode, not become corrupt, but corrode, because our structure was never strengthened. At the moment the youth has all the necessary tools to do it, and for me justice comes out of there,” said the Mexican-American activist.
His brother Bryan said that it is time to look past fear for the authorities, whom he accused of trying to silence society, in avoiding expressing discontent over the lack of attention to the country’s basic needs.
“The government fears we are going to criticize them. Well… I do have strong words for the national government and for the state government. They have completely failed us on security issues. We are getting worse by the day,” he said.
Bernabe Islas Jara, founder of the Justice and Peace Collective, said it is necessary to speak before the authorities to be heard.
She also requested that cases be resolved in the country where civil organizations estimate that almost 99 percent of crimes go unpunished.
“Making noise somehow sounds ugly, but we have to disturb/hinder the government, for them to see that their apathy in these cases is really hurting us, that’s why many people didn’t like the LeBaron family, but the only thing we have in common with them is the same pain, the pain of having lost a brother,” Bernabe said.