Justina Hernandez, from Honduras, who is part of a convoy of Central American mothers, holds a photograph of her missing son, Javier Soriano, outside the Basilica of Guadalupe during the group's return to Central America, in Mexico City, Tuesday Nov. 8, 2011. A group of mothers of Central American migrants who went missing during their journey north, retrace their children's steps every year to the U.S. border since 2004, looking for clues into their disappearances. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)AP2011
A desperate two week hunt for their long missing children by a group of Central American women ended happily with a Honduran mother finding her son in Mexican prison, a spokeswoman said Monday.
Olivia Orellana 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 Sánchez said the mothers visited a prison Sunday in the southern state of Chiapas and asked officials to search records for their children.
The family meetings that happen during the caravan are magical.
- Marta Sánchez, spokeswoman for the Mesoamerican Migrants Movement.
The prison director found Mejia Orellana in another prison, and the women traveled there to see him.
Sánchez 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," Sánchez said.
"The family meetings that happen during the caravan are magical," she said.
Sánchez 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.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.