Rate of Women Disappearing in Reynosa on the Rise
REYNOSA, TAMAULIPAS - Two cities joined by commerce, culture and loss are experiencing a rise in women disappearing on the other side of the McAllen-Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge.
The number of disappearances in Reynosa, Tamaulipas is going up, according to a non-profit group tracking the state's statistics.
The Department of State cannot provide statistics of Americans reported missing abroad for privacy reasons, according to a communication released by the agency Monday.
A non-profit group, Jusiticia Tamaulipas, reports they are aware of people who live in the United States and went missing in Reynosa.
The group analyzes statistics released by the Comisión Nacional de Búsqueda de Personas, a Tamaulipas state agency.
In Reynosa alone, from the start of the calendar year, the agency reports 224 cases of people considered missing. (The number only tracks the cases reported. Many more go unreported.)
Justicia Tamaulipas President Geovanni Barrios Moreno says they're seeing an increase in the rate of women disappearing from the border city.
He says the motive is unknown. "Because we don't know if they're organized criminal groups dedicated to human trafficking, or if this done out of hatred for women," he explained.
Many who go missing along the northern edge of the state are presumed entangled on some level with organized crime. Not so with the women currently disappearing.
"There's a case in Reynosa where, less than a month ago, one of the women who went missing was someone who was a dedicated employee who went to school and tended to her home," Barrios Moreno recalled. "This concerns us because it's no longer people with some kind of tether to organized crime who are being affected, but women who have nothing to do with delinquency are being affected."
Relatives, friends, and acquaintances who are taken against their will are rarely found.
In a change for the government, for the first time in many years, families who lost relatives across the border will be able to participate in their search.
Jusiticia Tamaulipas is organizing the event.
Barrios Moreno invites, "For the first time, we're going to go into property where we have information that it was used as extermination camps where they could have disintegrated the bodies of our relatives."
Families from both sides of the border are invited to participate in the search; it takes place August 1st and 2nd.
The U.S. Consulate in Matamoros was invited to attend to help families who lost relatives who lived in the U.S.
They hope this search might bring closure to a wound too deep to heal on its own.
Families interested in participating in the upcoming search can contact the Tamaulipas agency, Comisión Nacional de Búsqueda de Personas, by dialing 1-800-BUSQUEDA or 834-688-5075.