Disappeared in Mexico, a problem of the past and the present

Los Ángeles Times


August 30, 2022, 2:20 PM PT

MEXICO CITY — In small groups across Mexico, relatives of more than 100,000 who disappeared demanded law enforcement effectiveness and the search for their loved ones.

Guillermo Fernández Maldonado, a representative of the United Nations Office for Human Rights, who participated in one of the marches in the capital said the figures recognized by authorities are “really huge.” He warned that “it is not something that we talked about in the past, but (that) they are serious situations that continue to happen every day.”

On the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance, families once again walked along emblematic avenues of Mexico City with photographs of their loved ones.

They demand the government comply with the recommendations presented in April by the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances, which, among other measures, called for combating impunity that it described as “almost absolute” and “structural.” The Committee also urged the authorities to recognize all forms of State responsibility, whether for direct action or for complicity or omission in disappearances carried out by organized crime, which is the main perpetrator.

The most internationally known case is the 43 teaching students who disappeared in 2014 in southern Mexico. Still, they’re the lost ones. The families ask to comply with search protocols during the first hours of disappearance; the importance is to locate someone and ask for greater coordination between institutions. Although the federal government has advanced in legislation and search, it does not always have the support of state governments. The collectives that support the victims also reminded the government that more funds are needed to search and advance the extraordinary forensic identification mechanism that had just begun in three states. They also call for the launch of the National Forensic Data Bank, which, by law, should already be operational.


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