Families salute the passage of the General Law on Disappearance of Persons, a tool to confront the grave crisis of disappearances and impunity in Mexico
On 12 October, the Chamber of Deputies approved the General Law on Forced Disappearance of Persons and Disappearances by Individuals. The families that make up the Movement for Our Disappeared Persons in Mexico (fb: MovNDmx) salute the approval of this law, because it is the result of almost three years of hard work by more than 60 families and civil society organizations (NGOs) that have proposed fundamental contents of this law and because if it is implemented effectively, it will be an important tool to confront the serious disappearance crisis in Mexico.
The Act creates a National Search System, a National Search Commission and 32 Local Search Commissions for missing persons, structures that incorporate the participation of relatives and civil society organizations, in order to find the whereabouts of our loved ones. In turn, the Act recognizes and punishes the crimes of enforced disappearance and disappearance committed by private individuals; promotes exhaustive investigations – through the creation of Specialized Prosecutor’s Offices; and establishes better conditions to approach truth, justice, punishment of the guilty parties, and to break the chronic patterns of impunity that involve this atrocious practice.
The Act also strengthens the National Register of Missing and Unrecognized Persons, which will contribute to sizing the disappearance crisis in the country and responding to the true magnitude of this painful problem.
The rights of the victims recognized in it will also open up new possibilities to provide comprehensive reparations and care for the thousands of missing persons and families who are going through this stormy road. This will only be possible if the authorities – of all levels of government – comply with their obligations and implement the Law correctly.
In the long and desperate search for our loved ones, faced with institutional inaction and collusion, we recognize in the Law a perfectible instrument, but also necessary and urgent as a first step to prevent, eradicate, combat and sanction disappearances.
However, the Legislative Branch’s obligation does not end with the approval of this Law. The Chamber of Deputies has the inescapable duty to allocate a sufficient budget for its immediate and correct implementation during this same session. This is a basic condition for the Act to operate effectively in favour of the thousands of missing persons in the country and their families, and to prevent the realization of criminal conduct.
In addition, we families demand that the Executive Branch publish the Law immediately, this is a historic opportunity to respond to tens of thousands of families that we can no longer expect, committing this administration to lay the foundations for its full compliance.
The road is just beginning, approval is one more step and implementation will be a challenge. For this reason, we demand to recognize our experience and ensure our participation at all times: without families there can be no effective and legitimate implementation of the Law.
Movimiento por Nuestros Desaparecidos en México (Movement for Our Missing Persons in Mexico)