Enlace Comunitario stands in solidarity with our Indigenous relatives who continue to face violence that is rooted in structural and societal injustices.
Earlier this month, during Native American Heritage Month, the State of New Mexico decided to end the task force that addresses the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives (MMIWR). For decades, Indigenous people have gone missing or have been murdered across the country—with self-identified Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQ+ relatives being the most victimized. Quite often, there is little to no in-depth investigation by law enforcement personnel, with many MMIWR—especially youth—being categorized as “runaways.” This lack of urgency around MMIWR is part of the legacy of state-sanctioned colonial, patriarchal violence that often relegates non-white populations to “disposable” status, and it remains an ongoing affront to Indigenous communities. Families of MMIWR deserve the respect and thorough, resource-back investigative work that often is only extended to victims of crime who are white and/or affluent.
Despite the state’s decision to end this task force, Enlace Comunitario fully recognizes that Indigenous people’s lives are still under attack and that MMIWR remains an unaddressed crisis—especially in New Mexico, which leads the nation in MMIWR cases. The state’s decision to end this task force breaks a promise to Indigenous communities and is the furthest action from a meaningful solution to the ongoing violence Indigenous people face. It is incumbent on the State of New Mexico to catalyze creative, community-centered solutions to counter this violence—including collaborating closely with community organizations working to meaningfully address the MMIWR crisis.
Enlace Comunitario will continue working in solidarity with community partners whose concerted community-level efforts seek to meaningfully address the MMIWR crisis, while also countering racist, anti-indigeneity rhetoric that often is used to sideline solutions-building efforts. Enlace Comunitario wishes to amplify the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women (CSVANW)’s requests to the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department to:
- Issue a comprehensive public statement addressing the disbandment of the NM MMIWR Task Force;
- Outline a clear plan for advancing the State Response Plan; and
- Prioritize the Not Invisible Act Commission’s findings and recommendations.