The aftermath of Mexico’s war on drugs: 61,000 people have gone missing

07/01/2020
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14:43
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Newsroom & Agencies
The aftermath of Mexico’s war on drugs: 61,000 people have gone missing
In recent years, Mexico has unearthed thousands of bodies and found thousands of mass graves - Photo: Courtesy of the Attorney General’s Office

The aftermath of Mexico’s war on drugs: 61,000 people have gone missing

07/01/2020
14:43
Newsroom & Agencies
Mexico City
Reuters
-A +A
Thousands of people have died and gone missing since Mexico launched a war on drugs in 2006

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On January 6, the Mexican government updated the number of missing persons to 61,000. The majority are the victims of a war launched by the two previous administrations against drug cartels.

The new figure released by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s administration contrasts with the 40,000 cited by the government in June 2019.

“The official data of missing persons is 61,637,” Karla Quintana, head of the National Registry of Missing or Missing Persons (RNPED), told a news conference. She added that 25.7% of them were women.

Over 1,000 clandestine graves have been found in Mexico since 2006

Over 97.4% of the total went missing in 2006 when then-President Felipe Calderón launched a war and sent the army to the streets to fight drug traffickers, fragmenting the cartels, which made it harder to fight them.

According to the new report issued by the Interior Ministry, 53% of those missing are between 15 and 35.

During the current administration, authorities have found 873 mass graves.

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The Undersecretary for Human Rights, Population, and Migration, Alejandro Encinas, announced that from December 2018 to December 10, authorities exhumed at least 1,124 human bodies from clandestine mass graves but only 35% of these remains were identified, and only 21.6% were returned to their families.

Encinas also revealed that the Mexican government has searched for mass graves in 519 sites.

Moreover, 61% of the mass graves found are located in Sinaloa, Colima, Veracruz, Guerrero, and Jalisco

During the first year of the López Obrador administration, people have filed 9,164 reports about missing persons. At least 3,980 of them were found but 5,184 are still missing,

In December 2019, Mexico’s government approved the creation of the Extraordinary Mechanism for Forensic Identification (MEIF), a program that is looking to identify all the human remains found in the country. The United Nations and the Red Cross approved and praised the creation of the new mechanism.

Mass grave in Jalisco: At least 29 bodies found in plastic bags

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