La 72 commemorates the San Fernando massacre

On August 23rd, our partners at the La 72 migrant shelter commemorated the 12th year anniversary of the San Fernando Massacre. In 2010, 72 migrants were massacred by the Las Zetas cartel in El Huizachal in the municipality of San Fernando, Tamaulipas, Mexico. The San Fernando massacre was one of a series of mass killings that made clear how dangerous the journey through Mexico had become for migrants. 

In response to the killings, the Franciscan order in Tenosique established a shelter for migrants crossing into Mexico. La 72, Hogar Refugio para Personas Migrantes was opened in April of 2011, and has served tens of thousands of migrants since. In 2018 La 72 joined with other shelters in Mexico, Central America and the United States to form the Franciscan Network on Migration.

The Quixote Center is the fiscal sponsor of the Network in the US and takes part in the work of the networks advocacy team. You can donate to support the life saving work of the Network here . To join us November 14-18 on a solidarity trip to visit La 72 and a partner shelter in Guatemala, click HERE.  

This week, staff and those visiting the shelter honored the memory of the 72 migrants killed in San Fernando. We have translated their powerful Twitter thread highlighting activities to commemorate the 72 lives lost: 

 “On this August 23, 2022, La 72 raises its voice to echo the people whose lives were taken away [by the 2010 San Fernando Massacre.] For this, we carry out various activities to stand witness to their memory.” 

“Since yesterday, we started with placing handprints on the walls with the names or initials of the people inhabiting the house to leave their mark and make visible that at some point in life, all of us have been or will be migrants, either through your own decision or for forced reasons.” 

“We inaugurated the mural of hands with a few words from Brother Ricardo, and in the Franciscan spirit, an ecumenical ceremony was held in the chapel of the house. Afterward, we moved to the court, where the presentation of the work of visual artist Sofia Murillo took place.” 

“The event continued by lighting candles as we read, loud and clear, the names of our 72 brothers and sisters.” 

“Dear reader, La 72 is the Resistance, if the authorities do not do their job nor protect human rights, we stand ready to fight to do so and remember, on the 12th anniversary [of San Fernando], that every human being has the right to safe, dignified, and free transit.” 

“Those 72 people, 61 crosses with their names and nationalities and 11 blank crosses, should not be hanging on the wall of a chapel, but walking down the street, breathing freedom, hugging a loved one, laughing… EXISTING BUT NOT IN MEMORY!” 

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