Hanging Shoes Honor Thousands of Missing People in Mexico Museum

Family members donated shoes to remember their loved ones gone missing.

ByLouise Dewast
May 11, 2016, 4:38 PM
PHOTO: People look shoes of missing people with messages printed on their soles hanging from the roof of the "Casa de la Memoria Indomita" museum during the opening of the "Huellas de La Memoria" (Memory Tracks) exhibition in Mexico City, May 9, 2016.
People look shoes of missing people with messages printed on their soles hanging from the roof of the "Casa de la Memoria Indomita" museum during the opening of the "Huellas de La Memoria" (Memory Tracks) exhibition in Mexico City, May 9, 2016.
Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images

— -- A museum in Mexico City is exhibiting the shoes of missing citizens as a symbol of the disappeared persons crisis that has plagued the country for decades.

More than 60 pairs of shoes were donated by family members of people who disappeared as reminders of how far they have walked in their search to find them.

“These shoes symbolize the fight for the truth and the denunciation against the state-sponsored crime that are disappearances,” Jorge Galvez, director of the “Casa de la Memoria Indomita" (“Museum of Untamed Memory”) museum told ABC News.

Each pair of shoes is exhibited along with a message from the family such as “We love you” and “We will never stop looking for you.” Among the shoes donated are boots, heels and children shoes.

“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 shoes exhibit is the work of artist Alfredo Lopez Casanova who, along with the organizers, hopes to tour with it through Mexico and the U.S. It is currently running in Mexico City through June 25th.

The issue of disappearances received more international attention when 43 college students went missing in southern Mexico in 2014. According to Mexico's government records, cited by Amnesty International, 27,638 people -- 20,203 men and 7,435 women -- have been reported missing.

In October, Mexico’s Attorney General created a Special Prosecutor’s Office to handle cases of disappeared or missing people, but many have criticized the government for not doing enough.

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