Group travels to metro to spotlight human rights violations in Mexico

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KANSAS CITY -- Human rights violations in Mexico are a growing concern among Latinos in the metro.

A mother traveled to Kansas City to talk about her son, one of 43 students who disappeared last September in Mexico in what was supposed to be a peaceful protest.

"We parents, we are not going to rest until we have all the right and truthful information," said Maria de Jesus Tlatempa Bello through a translator.

The kidnapping of Maria's son, Jose, is an example of tens of thousands of forced disappearances in Mexico and more than 100,000 murders since 2006, according to the Cross Border Network.

Omar Garcia also made the trip. He's one of the surviving students who recalled the day the Mexican government took away Jose and 42 others.

"I remember my friends who did not have the same luck," Garcia said through a translator. "If they wanted to kill them they would have killed them right there. But they took them in the patrols, they took them alive. I feel that they are alive. And our government is just lying."

Friends and relatives of the missing are seeking support from Americans to stop our government from providing weapons to the Mexican army and police.

"The average American voter has a vote," said Judy Ancel of the Cross Border Network. "The average American voter should be asking our elected officials and our candidates in our next elections, what are they going to do that is different from this sorry tale of misplaced aid and bad economic policies that only aid elites."

Over the years, the U.S. State Department has denounced arbitrary arrests, torture and killings by the Mexican government.

Organizers of this national speaking tour claim there is a connection between the American campaign to counter narcotics and what they call state sponsored terrorism in Mexico.

Families of the missing students are speaking at churches, universities and community groups in more than 45 cities across the United States.

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