Mexico is facing a problem of epic proportions. Since 1964, more than 100,000 people have been reported missing – and this number continues to grow.
Mexico’s Missing People Problem Is Growing
Mexico’s Interior Ministry has confirmed that since 1964, more than 100,000 people have been reported either missing or disappeared in the country. The date was provided by the ministry’s National Registry of Missing People.
Of those reported missing, around 74,700 are considered men, and more than 24,700, are women. The gender of the remaining 516 reported cases isn’t known.
Especially worrying is the fact that the figure has increased by more than 20,000 people in the past two years alone – a statistic that has been met with national outrage and urgent calls for change.
Few Are Brought To Task
Even more worrying is the fact that only 35 of the disappearances reported have led to any sort of conviction of the guilty parties. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, responded to this alarming statistic in a statement on Tuesday.
According to Bachelet, no stone should be left unturned in order to put an end to what she referred to as “human rights violations”. She said it is important that there be no repeat of this sort of injustice going forward.
Weighing in on the situation also had been Marlene Harbig of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Harbig discussed the enormous trauma suffered not only by the victims but also by their families.
She said the first few hours following a disappearance are the most important time, and that relatives of victims have the right to know the situation surrounding the missing person. She said the Red Cross considered this to be a humanitarian act.
Progress – Just Not Enough
But despite the worrying numbers, Bachelet this week drew the public’s attention to the incredible progress that has been made by the Mexican government. The results are almost as good as those when playing bingo for real money.
She said that Mexico is also the first country that has allowed intervention by the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances and that the organization is currently working alongside 13 Mexican states in trying to combat the problem.
Bachelet did however call on the Mexican government to place family members of missing persons at the center of their efforts and investigations. She said this will ensure greater success in solving the missing cases.
Drug Violence Is To Blame
The number of missing people reported in the stunning region of Mexico has sky-rocketed in the wake of increasing drug violence. This has been the case for the last 16 years.
On Monday, the Movement for Our Disappeared warned that the official figure of missing people is definitely well below the number of actual cases. It called on Mexico’s government to deal with the situation in an immediate manner.
In April of 2021, the UN Committee against Enforced Disappearances cautioned that the country was dealing with a staggering and certainly alarming upward trend in the number of missing or disappeared persons reported every month.
The UN body also said that those responsible for the disappearances were mainly organized crime groups and drug gangs and this was not a case of people simply wandering off a trail or falling victim to illness and not being found. Threatening behavior by these groups has led to omissions on the part of public officials, which is only adding fuel to the fire.
While authorities continue to work at putting together an accurate database, together with genetic samples, many corpses have in the past been buried without identification due to the problem of overflowing morgues.