1682000067 This is how they found Ceci Flores search engine a

This is how they found Ceci Flores search engine: a helicopter rescue and 19 hours in the desert

This is how they found Ceci Flores search engine a

“It is reported that Ceci Flores has been missing since yesterday. She was conducting a search in Sinaloa state and was last seen aboard a state police patrol assigned to provide her protection,” read the message her daughter posted on social media. Flores, leader of the Madres Buscadoras de Sonora organization, has become one of the visible faces of thousands of families searching for their disappeared in Mexico in recent years.

Flores’ absence on Sunday afternoon made us fear the worst. “The truck we were traveling in got stuck in the mud and it was impossible to get out despite the efforts of the security forces,” says the activist on the other end of the line. With her were four Sinaloa state police officers responsible for protecting the searchers. “We responded to an anonymous call to dig up some bodies near Ahome (upstate),” Flores said.

The group was left incommunicado in the middle of the desert, with no cell phone, radio, water or food. When they didn’t respond, the family went to local authorities to report the disappearance. Flores complains that the police have not started a search for more than 19 hours. It was only after the collective uploaded the message to social media that it jumped to the national media and from there to President López Obrador’s morning conference. In 2022, Flores was recognized by the BBC as one of the 100 most influential women in the world.

Hours after the President’s words, Flores was saved. “The President gave Encinas the order [subsecretario de Derechos Humanos] who asked the governor of Sinaloa for assistance and sent the helicopter,” he emphasizes. “Despite the fact that the authorities knew we were missing, they didn’t look for us until the President gave the order,” he reiterates.

As night fell, the group made a big campfire and prepared to sleep in the truck. Two of the four police officers walked for four hours to ask for help. “You could hear wolves howling and shots,” Flores recalls. “We thought maybe they killed the police officers who left and that hope of being found was gone because they were the only ones who knew our location.” Without food and water, the activist says, thought her, it’s all over. “I entrusted myself to God because I felt I was dying and everything I had done to find my children was over,” she says.

Flores tirelessly searches for two of his children, both kidnapped by organized crime in Sinaloa and Sonora. Alejandro Guadalupe was 21 when he disappeared in 2015 and Marco Antonio was 32 when he was growing up with another brother, Jesús Adrián, in 2019. While the latter was released, nothing is known about the other two. “Good or bad, they have the right to be found,” he keeps repeating.

Ceci Flores is very grateful for the thousands of messages of support and affection she has received these days. “I’m still not done answering all of them.” She hopes the incident that happened to her will help keep the public on the lookout for not only her case but that of thousands of mothers searching for their loved ones loses. When asked by the press, López Obrador spoke about the case. “This known searcher and her family had shelter and apparently she made the decision to go somewhere else, another place, also in Sonora, and her disappearance has been reported and the issue is already being addressed,” the President said. .

The woman has received multiple death threats over the past two months and is part of the Human Rights Defenders Protection Mechanism. In November, he reported to the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) that he had received a call from the federal prison in Hermosillo, saying that a bounty had been placed on his head. 50,000 pesos ($2,700). Since then, the investigation has not progressed, he says.

Despite death threats, she never stopped searching for her children. “The president can’t put himself in my place because he doesn’t have two missing children, but if he did, he wouldn’t even bother with the mechanism and go look for them,” she replies when asked if she there is no fear of being killed in one of the raids. “If the authorities did their job, we wouldn’t have to be the mothers who constantly risk our lives.” The call comes to an end. Flores reaches a point in Kino Bay where he is told there are bodies buried there. Four years ago this was the last place his son Marco Antonio was heard from. The hope of finding him is renewed for Ceci Flores with every anonymous call.

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