Latin America has a long history of military dictatorships and authoritarian regimes forcibly disappearing civilians and employing a culture of fear to remain in power. The disappearance of Central American migrants in Mexico, from kidnapping, arbitrary detention and incarceration, or gendered violence, quadrupled last year.
Caravan of Mothers, first established in 2005, brings together mothers from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua as they travel across Mexico to call attention to and demand action for their disappeared children. Commemorating the lives of lost relatives, Caravan of Mothers creates processes of political empowerment for poor Indigenous peasant women who have no previous experience as activists and human rights defenders.
Raul Diego Rivera Hernandez, Director of the Latin American Studies program and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Spanish at Villanova University, will discuss the key moments that anchor the mothers' transformation into political subjects and human rights activists. Joined by Nicaraguan filmmaker Tania Romero, they will also address ethical issues of re-traumatization of victims with testimonies from their documentary work-in-process film.