Woman finds missing migrant son in Mexico

November 14, 2011 - 6:40 PM

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A group of Central American women who traveled through Mexico for two weeks in search of missing relatives ended the journey with the discovery of one of their sons, a spokeswoman said Monday.

Olivia Orellana, from Honduras, found her son Osman Lizandro Mejia Orellana in a prison in the southern state of Chiapas after more than eight years without word of him.

The nonprofit Mesoamerican Migrants Movement helped organize the trip. Spokeswoman Marta Sanchez said the mothers visited a prison Sunday in the southern state of Chiapas and asked officials to search records for their children.

The prison director found Mejia Orellana in another prison, and the women traveled there to see him.

Sanchez said he had apparently been arrested on racketeering charges and had to serve another a year and a half in prison.

While he was the only son found during the trip, the discovery "filled everyone's spirits with joy and hope," Sanchez said.

"The family meetings that happen during the caravan are magical," she said.

Sanchez said Orellana traveled back to Honduras on Monday. The 33 women from Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua who traveled in the caravan visited some of the most dangerous states on the migration route to the United States, such as Tamaulipas, where 72 migrants were slain by drug traffickers in August 2010.

Sanchez's group has been helping organize the caravans for about a decade, and 59 migrants have been found. Last year's caravan found two migrants.

Government officials and advocacy groups say migrants must confront rising risks on the trip through Mexico, including extortion, kidnapping and the involvement of drug traffickers in human smuggling.