Statement on International Day of the Disappeared

On the International Day of the Disappeared, the People’s Movement for Peace and Justice, made up of more than one hundred organizations and groups of Afro-descendants, indigenous people, migrants and victims of armed violence from Mexico and the United States, we raise our voices to say Never Again.

The disappearance crisis  facing the region is not a marginal issue. Since the War on Drugs was declared in Mexico in 2012, violence has been at the center of our lives growing to become a regional pandemic with deadly consequences. In Mexico in 2023, official data records identified more than 110,000 disappearances. In the United States, the Justice Department’s missing persons database (NamUS), acknowledges that approximately 600,000 are reported missing each year. Many of them are found, but a high percentage do not return, as in the case of the more than 5,000 disappeared Indigenous women and girls.

This devastating reality does not impact everyone equally. The same registries from both countries identify the majority of the disappeared as low-income individuals, many of them in rural and Indigenous areas. Forced disappearance clearly has disproportionate race, ethnicity, and class impacts.

In Mexico, the authorities are at the center of this tragedy, as the case of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero and the 73 migrants in San Fernando, Tamaulipas have shown. In the United States, the lack of action and negligence of the authorities on formal documented complaints, , especially from people of African descent, LGBTQI+ and Indigenous People, is a deadly pattern.

Faced with this crisis, the governments of Mexico and the United States must use the efforts and funds they have allocated  to detain, criminalize and deport migrants to find our disappeared men and women. 

They should put the search for people at the center of the Bicentennial Agreement and any other binational security cooperation agreement. The US government must stop the export of weapons to corrupt police and military units and end arms trafficking. Mexico must declare a national emergency due to disappearances and involve all citizens in the search and location of people.

And in all cases, those responsible must be identified, punished to the fullest extent of the law, and all necessary measures must be taken to protect the victims and their families.

We thank all families and organizations dedicated to searching for the disappeared. We invite the public to demand justice and not allow any Government to ignore this crisis.


As long as one is missing, any of us can disappear.

Stop the silent war against the people in the region.



Our Kick off statement:

We are the People’s Movement for Peace and Justice

Today, activists, community leaders, victims and survivors of violence, migrants, members of diverse ethnic groups, communities of color, and LGBTQIA+ communities from throughout Mexico, the United States and across the Americas, launched the People’s Movement for Peace and Justice (PMPJ).  The PMPJ calls on all people to stand up and organize against violence, injustice, xenophobia, racism, and exclusion everywhere.

Since the start of the War on Drugs in the United States in 1960 and then in Mexico in 2006, we have seen people throughout the Americas (especially women, the economically marginalized, Indigenous Peoples, youth, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and communities of color)  be ignored, criminalized, attacked, displaced, deported, and subjected to violence as a result of failed these national security strategies. Both countries declared the end of the so-called drug wars, and yet the suffering and violence continues. State-sponsored wars persist and their impact on the region is getting worse.

The formation of the People’s Movement for Peace and Justice (PMPJ)  follows a series of nine preliminary forums in multiple countries and the 2023 Peace Summit in Mexico City, which brought together community representatives, grassroots organizations, and human rights defenders from multiple countries throughout the Americas. We agreed to  champion the voices of the marginalized and oppressed; of the families impacted by the forced disappearance of their loved ones, of the survivors of violence, of the unjustly persecuted, and of all those deemed to be “illegal.”

We will now begin to organize transnationally around our twelve demands for peace.

Presently, mainstream political parties in Mexico and the United States are preparing for upcoming national elections in 2024 but have had little to say, if anything, about the pressing needs and demands of the people. We know that humanity and the environment will continue to suffer as long as the rights of our communities are not prioritized. It is difficult to envision a better future while our communities are forced to migrate; while those who call out the injustices are violently suppressed; and while those that exploit and bring violence to our territories are given immunity.

We thus call on all sectors of society to organize in their neighborhoods, villages, towns, and cities and demand that the traditional and mainstream political parties address our issues and implement our twelve-point agenda.

We do this in the name of the more-than-110,000 victims of forced disappearance in Mexico, the 164,859 victims of firearm violence in just the last eight years, the more than 196,000 migrants deported last year, and the thousands that are subjected to criminalization, police brutality, and other forms of organized violence, as well as those that resist extractivist operations and commercial exploitation in their territories. We come together to demand justice and access to political participation and genuine representation. We come together to ensure that our voice is loudly heard.

June 2023

Stop the Violence and Stop Ignoring our People and our Communities.

#IgnoredNoMore    #InvisibleNoMore



The People’s Movement for Peace and Justice, made up of leaders, groups and organizations of Afro-descendants, indigenous peoples, victims of armed violence and migrants in the region of Mexico, the United States and Canada, on the occasion of the celebration of the International Day of Indigenous Peoples and Afro-Mexican Day, and adds to the demand for an end to racism, discrimination and the extraction of natural resources from the territories.

For many years now, indigenous peoples and those of the color of the land have had to endure the marginalization and exploitation of a political and economic power that perpetuates racism and exclusion throughout the region, through the denial of history, the monolingualism, white supremacist culture, gun violence, and capitalism.

Particularly, in recent years the peoples have shed blood and lost men, women and children who should not have migrated, disappeared or died. Since the murder of indigenous leader Samir Flores in Morelos, Mexico in 2018, multiple peoples, organizations and international organizations (including our recent summit for peace) have documented and denounced the forced displacement of thousands of families from the high mountains and the central region of Guerrero; the proliferation of organized crime and paramilitary groups in Chiapas and Guerrero; the permanent and profound denial, discrimination, invisibility and racism against Afro-descendant peoples in Mexico, and the criminalization of indigenous peoples who oppose the Mayan Train.

In the United States, according to the National Institute of Justice, 4 out of 5 indigenous women have experienced violence. Since the Homicide and Missing Unit of the United States Government Office of Indian Affairs was implemented in 2021, a database has been built with 1,500 missing Indians who have not yet been found and more than 2,700 cases of murder and manslaughter against indigenous people. Also, cultural appropriation and profiting from indigenous designs, images and processes is an everyday fight in the United States. 

The governments of Mexico and the United States, in their most recent Tres Amigos Summit, announced the formation of working groups on racism, indigenous issues, and violence against women. As of today, no action has been announced.

The presidential elections are coming soon in our two countries and there will be a lot of noise from the promises and offers of change, but those of us who participate in the Movement of the Peoples for Peace and Justice know that this crisis will not stop until the political and economic systems do not recognize the structural causes of racism and discrimination in our region, and until the laws, institutions and government models that seeks to govern the lives of our peoples in the region are reformed.

On this day, we demand authorities, candidates and political parties to acknowledge and accept the 12 Priorities of our Movement, including:

End racism and discrimination.

Recognition of our history and our contributions.

Stop the militarization of our territories.

Stop the proliferation of weapons in our towns

Stop the persecution of indigenous migrants.

Respect for the territories, resources, processes and organizations of indigenous peoples,

From the Maya land to Turtle Island,


People’s Movement for Peace and Justice

We are the voice of those historically marginalized across the region.

our demands come from deep democratic and radical dialogue.

It wasn’t the fire:

Binational Action in solidarity with Migrants and victims of immigration policies.

 On February 23th and 24th, 2023, more than 300 leaders, activists and representatives from communities and organizations from Mexico and the United States came together to discuss priorities and create a people’s binational movement for peace and justice.

PReparatory forums in the lead up to the peace summit

For 6 months, we toured the Mexico-US region celebrating community and strategic to discuss the causes of armed violence, exclusion, racism, economic poverty and injustice

We are the People’s Movement for Peace and Justice  

The destinies of the U.S. and Mexico, as well as our movements for social and environmental justice, are inextricably intertwined.

Ending regional violence and success in handling cross-border challenges — like migration, human rights, inequality (fair and sustainable economic development), and dangerous gun trafficking  – requires the participation and engagement of civil society movements on both sides of the border.

We are living in a pivotal and urgent moment in both Mexico and the United States. From rising gun violence, political exclusion and disenfranchisement, worsening repression of migrants, and the expanding environmental and climate driven crises, the need for action, reform and political activism is now.

People of color across the borders share a history of oppression and resistance that bring us closer than what we think.

Both Mexico and the U.S. will have critical national elections in 2024. The time to build united, inclusive political power is now.

The PMPJ seeks to cultivate and catalyze a cross-border  movement to denounce injustice and drive community-led solutions to the growing inequality, violence and human and migrant rights crises that impact the region.

More than 50 organizations from Mexico and the United States, under the leadership of Global Exchange, are organizing this initiative. The PMPJ aims to expand political access and build political power for those currently left out and left behind (youth, migrants, Indigenous communities and more) and to make their demands for human rights, justice, democracy, and peace heard.

The PMPJ will host an international peace summit in June 2024 and will utilize innovative digital organizing tools to engage and nourish the active majorities on both sides of the border we need to demand and affect change.

12 Priorities
For Peace 

and Justice

In Mexico and the United States


The human rights agenda should be above the commercial agenda in the Mexico-US relationship. The region urgently needs a binational body for monitoring, evaluating, and promoting Human Rights.


Stop the illegal flow of weapons from the U.S. to Mexico and the exportation of weapons to police and military units with a history of corruption and human rights violations.


Governments from Mexico and the US must generate conditions for life, peace, prosperity, justice, and happiness in all the communities of the region, allowing individuals and families to live presperous lives without having to migrate


Establish a path for complete demilitarization of territories and borders.


Open government institutions including military bases to survivors and relatives of victims of violence. Bring all military involved in crimes and human rights violations to justice.


Cooperation in searches for forcibly disappeared persons; Establish mechanisms for justice and memory for cases of disappeared persons and Human Rights violations.


Change the migration management model to do away with detentions and deportations of migrants; Ensure inclusion and access to rights for the entire migrant population.


Recognize historical racism and end racism at all levels; Ensure that children, indigenous people, Afrodescendant, and sexual diversity groups in contexts of violence receive competent specialized attention to access protection and justice


Promote regional labor reforms/agreements in both countries that protect workers, unions, and punish employers that take advantage of forced or temporary labor, and abuse the migrant population


Strengthen binational cooperation to make data available and have transparency on migration, arms flows, human trafficking, and drug trafficking.


Guarantee respect for indigenous peoples, Native Americans, and First Nations, their territories, and culture; Put their demands at the center of the Mexico-United States relationship, and conduct consultations with international observers for any action that affects their lives, environment and territory.


Change regional educational paradigms to embrace historically marginalized and undervalued communities and their knowledge; Create education that advances peace regionally; Guarantee access to education for underserved communities, with increased infrastructure and culturally competent curriculum design.

Participant communities and organizations

The People’s Movement for Peace and Justice is an  initiative organized by Global Exchange in partnership with the following organizations, collectives and groups:

United States/Canada

• Alianza de Ex-Braceros
• Americas Program
• Black Lives Matter south Bend
• Black Lives Matters Canada
• California Institute for Rural Studies
• Center for American Progress
• Center for Native Americans
• CIELO, Indigenous leadership
• CODEPINK - Women for Peace
• El Molino Informativo
• Florida Farm Workers
• Gun Violence Prevention Network
• Indigenous Immigrant People Council
• Latin America Working Group
• Lila
• March for Our Lives
• National Lawyers Guild
• North American Indigenous Center of New York
• Península 360Press
• Red de Pueblos Trasnacionales
• South Texas Human Rights Center
• Stop US Arms to Mexico
• Voces de los Pueblos
• Witness at the Border
• Women Against Gun Violence
• Change the Ref
• Global Action on Gun Violence
• Newtown Action Alliance

Mexico/Central America

• Al Otro Lado
• Albergue para Migrantes de Piedras Negras
• Alternativas de Divulgaciòn A.C.
• Alternativas y capacidades A.C.
• Casa de Acogida Formación y Empoderamiento de la Mujer Migrante y Refugiada
• Casa de Refugiados
• Casta Tochan
• Centro de Atención a la familia Migrante Indígena
• Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña “Tlachinollan”
• Centro de protecciòn a refugiados y migrantes internacionales (CEPREMI)
• Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de Derechos HUmanos
• Culturas del Pasado Voces del Presente
• Desde Nosotras, colectiva de fotoperiodistas
• Familiares en Búsqueda María Herrera
• Fundación Avina
• Fundación para la Democracia
• Instituto Mora
• Instituto para las Mujeres en las Migraciones
• Instituto RIA
• Jóvenes Ante la Emergencia Nacional
• Las Mujeres Rurales de la Frontera Sur S.A. de R.L. de C.V.
• Las Vanders
• Migrántolos
• Mujeres Organización y Territorios MOOTS
• NuestraRed Mx
• Red de Documentación de las Organizaciones
• ReverdeSer Colectivo
• Servicios y Asesorías para la Paz
• Tribunal Internacional de Conciencia Pueblos en Movimiento
• Ningún Ser Humano es Ilegal
• Tribunal Permanente de los Puelos
• Servicios Paz y Justicia