Mother of missing Mexican student wants Canada to push for justice

The mother of one of 43 missing Mexican students who vanished last fall is in Canada to seek the federal government’s help in pressuring Mexico for answers.

OTTAWA — The mother of one of 43 missing Mexican students who vanished last fall is in Canada to seek the federal government’s help in pressuring Mexico for answers.

Hilda Legideno Vargas’s 20 year-old-son disappeared in Mexico, likely at the hands of drug cartels, in a case that human rights groups say the Mexican government is covering up.

She wants the government to pressure the Mexicans to find answers in the case so she can get justice for her son, Jorge Antonio Tizapa.

Tizapa was among the 43 students who disappeared Sept. 26 from the Ayotzinapa Teachers’ College in the city of Inguala.

The Mexican government says it wants to see the case resolved and justice done , but Legideno Vargas doesn’t believe it, and wonders whether the local authorities were somehow complicit in the attack.

“Everything that I am doing here I’m doing out of love for my son,” the 43-year-old single mother said Friday in an interview conducted through an interpreter.

“We’ve had to come here to Canada to have our voices heard because the Mexican government is not doing what it needs to do.”

Legideno Vargas met with Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson’s senior foreign policy adviser to press her case. She also testified in earlier in the week to the House of Commons human rights subcommittee.

She said she wanted to “create awareness in the minister’s office about the situation, and ideally that the Canadian government would make some kind of public statement pressuring Mexico to keep the case open.”

Monika Le Roy, the policy adviser, did not reply to a request for comment, but an Amnesty International official who was in the meeting said they received a sympathetic hearing, but no concrete action has been taken.

Isidoro Vicario Aguilar, a lawyer for the families of the missing students, told MPs during committee testimony earlier in the week that Canada should remove Mexico from its list of designated safe countries.

“Ayotzinapa is but one example of widespread, extremely serious human rights violations in the state of Guerrero and many other regions of Mexico, including torture, extrajudicial executions and disappearances.”

Legideno Vargas has campaigned tirelessly, with the aid of international human rights groups, to get answers about Tizapa and his classmates.

Tizapa, her middle child, is also the father of a one-and-a-half year old daughter. He loved children and wanted to teach them, his mother said.

“His family has grown up in a lot of poverty and he wanted to get out of that poverty for his daughter, and help other indigenous children,” Legideno Vargas said.

She said there is no proof to back reports that the students were killed or burned alive.

“As a mother, I can’t give up on my child, especially since the government has given us no proof to indicate they are in fact dead, so I will keep looking until I find him, or we find some proof of the contrary.”

Legideno Vargas also said she has no fear of reprisals from the drug gangs or the government that largely controls Guerrero.

“There are high levels of corruption and collusion where you have public officials who are also members of illegal cartels. The Mexican government — the federal government — knows this very well but covers it up,” she said.

“I am no longer scared of the Mexican government because the force driving me to do this is much stronger than any fear that I have.”

The Mexican embassy, which also met Friday with a member of Amnesty International, declined comment.

Just Posted

Red Deer area businesses recognized at Business of the Year Awards night

“It’s an honour just to be nominated.” The popular words echoed throughout… Continue reading

Child sex offender should get 12 years: Crown prosecutor

Stuart Peter Hunt has pleaded guilty to 10 child sexual exploitation and pornography charges

Legalizing cannabis cost estimate for Red Deer just under $400k

Although the province of Alberta has announced $11.2 million for cannabis legalization,… Continue reading

WATCH: Every square tells a story: Edmonton expert is exploring Red Deer’s quilting history

Community members can bring in family heirloom quilts for documentation

Red Deer-area dads going through divorce are invited to Man Up

Support group formed to focus on positive activities, networking

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

PHOTO: Say goodbye to City Hall Park flowers

A sure sign that winter is on its way is when City… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Wickenheiser, Pegula reflect NHL’s trend toward diversity

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With a laugh, Kim Pegula’s competitive nature kicked in… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

DUBBO, Australia — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were jokingly thanked… Continue reading

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer… Continue reading

Canadian manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent in August: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Brian Mulroney joins board of directors of New York-based pot company

NEW YORK — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is joining the board… Continue reading

Canadians waking up to legalized cannabis: ‘My new dealer is the prime minister’

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canadians across the country woke up to legalized… Continue reading

Most Read