Chapter 1

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Waiting with love

Since the Mexican state intensified its drug war in 2006 over 28,000 people have disappeared and over 150,000 have been murdered.

They walked out of their homes one day, never to return. Often no-one knows where they are, or whether they are dead or alive.

And for each person, someone is still searching.

María Herrera Magdaleno Her 4 sons

Raúl (23), Jesús Salvador (27), Gustavo (28), Luis Armando (25) - all disappeared

Location: Michoacán

"Losing a child is the worst thing that can happen to a parent. Whomever this might happen to, wherever they may be, it will destroy their lives completely."

María and her son Juan Carlos are part of a growing group of families who are calling for the legalisation, regulation and control of drugs.

This violent drug war has cost them everything. Four of María's sons and Juan Carlos's brothers have disappeared. They too now live in fear for their lives.

What is legal regulation?

Juan Carlos His 4 brothers

20/04/2016
Listen to full testimony in the archive.
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María Herrera Magdaleno Her 4 sons

15/11/2016
Listen to full testimony in the archive.
REFRESH
Just as happened with alcohol prohibition in the United States, under drug prohibition, the illegal drug trade is controlled by violent criminal gangs rather than the government. The only way for disputes to be resolved is with force and ordinary families are caught in the crossfire. Unfortunately, María and Juan Carlos aren't alone in feeling these effects. Their stories are repeated thousands of times across Mexico.
What is Anyones Child?

Maricela Orozco Montalvo Her 2 sons and son-in-law

Gerson (19) - kidnapped, Alan (15) and Miguel (24) - murdered

Location: Veracruz

"The prohibition of drugs must end, and with it, we hope the forced disappearances, kidnappings and murders will stop."

Maricela Orozco Montalvo Her 2 sons and son-in-law

15/11/2016
Listen to full testimony in the archive.
REFRESH
The pain and loss of losing a child is an everyday reality for Maricela, who has lost her 2 sons and son-in-law to the drug war. She has been forced from her home in Veracruz out of fear for her and her family's lives. They have no way of knowing the truth of what happened to Gerson, or even whether or not he is still alive.

Maricela Orozco Montalvo Her 2 sons and son-in-law

15/11/2016
Listen to full testimony in the archive.
REFRESH

Araceli Salcedo Jiménez Her daughter

Fernanda Rubi (21) - kidnapped

Location: Veracruz

"If we talk about the war on drugs we will win. They cannot silence our voices and hide our cries of pain, our anger, our fear, or our courage."

Araceli Salcedo Jiménez Her daughter

15/11/2016
Listen to full testimony in the archive.
REFRESH
Araceli’s daughter, Fernanda Rubi, was kidnapped 4 years ago by drug cartels empowered by the money they make from trafficking banned substances. One evening in 2012, Fernanda Rubi was at a club with some girlfriends. "I'm fine," she told her mother "I’m going home soon, bye mommy, I love you ..." Just fifteen minutes later, four men arrived at the bar and dragged the 21 year old away. Araceli has not seen her daughter ever since.

Araceli Salcedo Jiménez Her daughter

15/11/2016
Listen to full testimony in the archive.
REFRESH

Drug prohibition is a global policy which is supposed to protect us. But as these stories underline, fighting the drug war does not keep children and families safe.

Drug-related violence affects everyone in Mexico and until the law changes, the next casualty of the drug war really could be anyone’s child. These families and communities who have lost everything to this war are calling for you to join them in their fight for legal regulation, to help save lives, and get drugs under control - not just in their country, but all over the world.

What is it like to work with these families?

Join our campaign.

Take the pledge now and join our growing movement for change. In doing so, you are making a personal commitment to spread the word about howcurrent drug laws are causing unnecessary harm across the world to families and young people.

We are planning a series of campaigning activities both in Mexico, the UK and internationally. We will be in touch to keep you informed and tell you how you can get involved!

'I support Anyone's Child and legal regulation of drugs, and pledge to share the evidence with as many people as possible.'

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Join the conversation

Drug policy reform will only happen if we keep talking about it, sharing the evidence with our friends and letting policy makers know how we feel. Get involved in the conversation!

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Next Chapter: 2. Bloodshed and lies

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Matthew Brown

How did the problem end up in Mexico?

Proffessor of Latin American History

University of Bristol

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Anyones Child:Mexico

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