In Conversation with Lucía de los Angeles Díaz, founder of the mothers’ collective, Solecito de Veracruz (Mexico)

lucy diaz

We are thrilled to welcome Lucía de los Angeles Díaz to the Latin American Centre to speak about her experiences as a mother searching for the disappeared. Lunch will be served.

Mexico has officially registered 110,000 disappeared people. And it is their families – often mothers – who go out to search for them around the country. Lucía is one of these madres buscadoras.

In 2013, Lucía’s son was kidnapped, and the kidnappers never sent him back to her family. From that moment onwards, she has worked tirelessly to search for him and all the missing people in Veracruz, Mexico. She founded a mothers’ collective – Solecito de Veracruz – which currently includes more than 300 members. Their struggle led them to a rustic farm called Colinas de Santa Fe in Veracruz. To date, they have located 156 clandestine graves, including 298 bodies. In 2023, they were able to recover 94 more bodies – or as they call them, treasures –  in three different locations along the bank of a lake in Alvarado, Veracruz.

The mothers of Solecito intend to continue searching in other places until they can give every last one of those so cruelly and inhumanely buried in clandestine graves their identity back, and send them home to their loved ones.

lucy diaz

Lucía will be hosted by Dr Julia Zulver, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow. As part of her research on high-risk leadership, Dr Zulver has carried out fieldwork with the mothers of Solecito. She published an article in the European Journal of Politics and Gender about their experiences: “Complex gendered agency in Mexico: how women negotiate hierarchies of fear to search for the disappeared”. Read the article here, and a blog about her research experiences here.