Museum Honors Missing People in Mexico With an Exhibit of Their Shoes

By Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou is a tech reporter who has written about drones, artificial intelligence, and space exploration.
May 12, 2016 Updated: May 15, 2016

A museum in Mexico City is hanging the shoes of missing persons in an exhibit as a gesture to the kidnapping crisis that has plagued the country in recent years. 

Tens of thousands are kidnapped in Mexico every year, and in 2014 a group of 43 college students associated with political activism went missing all at once, setting off protests across the country. 

“These shoes symbolize the fight for the truth and the denunciation against the state-sponsored crime that are disappearances,” Jorge Galvez, director of the Museum of Untamed Memory, told ABC News.

The Mexican police have been accused of being involved in the kidnapping of the 43 students.

All kinds of shoes, ranging from boots to children’s shoes, were donated, each accompanied with a message such as “We will never stop looking for you” and “We love you.” 

“People react differently to the exhibit,” Galvez said, adding, “some are sad and cry; others come out with a better understanding of the issue, and some become outraged.”

The shoe exhibit is the brainchild of artist Alfredo Lopez Casanova, and he hopes that the work will tour U.S. museums. 

In Mexico, corruption in the security forces is rampant, and the police have been accused of being involved in the kidnapping of the 43 students. 

Last October, Mexico’s Attorney General created a special prosecutorial force to investigate the the case of the 43 missing students. 

Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou is a tech reporter who has written about drones, artificial intelligence, and space exploration.