Statement: Disappeared Psychology Students in Mexico

Three students, two of whom are psychology students at the Autonomous University of Mexico City, were kidnapped in the state of Michoacan, Mexico, on 22 July 2012. At this stage Ana Belén Sánchez Mayorga, Diego Antonio Maldonado Castañeda and Enrique Luis Castañeda Nava remain missing. Some background information about this case was recently posted on the Liberation Psychology Network website:

‘It is known that the three were taken from the hotel where they were were staying and that the hotel administration did not report the incident to the authorities. The three young people, from Mexico city, were sent by the company KidScience, contracted by the State Council for Science, Technology, and Innovation, so that they could provide a workshop before the balloon festival. They arrived Wednesday 18th of July and lodged at the Santa Fe Hotel in the centre of Paracho. They delivered the course for children during the next three days and on Saturday 22nd, in the evening, after the inauguration of the festival, were in the bar of the hotel where it seems they were in argument with persons who tried to molest the young woman who is a psychologist. The individuals left but hours later arrived with an armed group which took the three from their rooms by force. The hotel administration was maintained silence and closed the hotel for two weeks. Unofficial sources say assert that the kidnappers were members of a criminal band that operates in the area of the Purépacha plateau. Laura Beatriz Castañeda, mother of Diego, confirmed in a telephone interview that the staff of the State Procurator’s office only said that it is possible that the victims are alive, because bodies have not been found. Then she was taken out via a back door and taken to the bus station to leave without talking to the press.’

Various calls have been issued by psychologists (and other groupings) internationally for proper and speedy investigation of this case. A statement issued last week by particpants of the Third Critical Psychology Symposium in Diyarbakir, Turkey, was posted on The Liberation Psychology Network website today:

We, the participants of the Third Critical Psychology Symposium (Diyarbakir, Turkey) in the name of TODAP, the Association of Psychologists for Social Solidarity, want to register our support for the recent calls on the authorities in the State of Michoacán, Mexico and other relevant authorities in Mexico to investigate the forced disappearance of Ana Belén Sánchez Mayorga, Diego Antonio Maldonado Castañeda and Enrique Luis Castañeda Nava, on 22th July in Paracho after taking part in the Festival of Balloons of Cantoya.

Ana Belén Sánchez Mayorga and Diego Antonio Maldonado Castañeda are psychology students at the Autonomous University of Mexico City.

We urge the authorities to investigate this case immediately.

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