Jesse Alejandro Cottrell at Harper's Magazine:
Since the turn of the decade, the state of Veracruz has suffered some of Mexico’s worst violence, as several drug cartels, including Los Zetas and Jalisco Nueva Generación, have fought to control the state’s lucrative smuggling routes north to the United States. The most reliable estimates put the number of people murdered in Mexico due to organized crime at 80,000 since 2006, and the number of people disappeared at over 30,000, though many deaths and disappearances stay off the record. In 2013, it was reported that police were not notified of as many as 98 percent of disappearances over the previous year. Even when they are notified, government investigations lag far behind. Jorge Winckler, the state prosecutor, found that agents in Veracruz were only looking into about two-thirds of disappearance cases.
The men and women gathered in Córdoba for the forensics workshop were members of a group called Solecito that was formed on WhatsApp in 2014 by a Veracruz mother who had lost her son. She selected a sun to be the icon for the text thread—a bright spot in the darkness—and invited other parents of missing children to share emotional support.