On Sunday, April 24th, a march of women fighting for justice demanded the clarification of the feminicide of Nebanhi, an 18-year-old girl who disappeared near Monterrey and was found dead after 13 days. This case, like many more, has shocked the country. After more than two hours of marching, the women arrived at the capital’s “Zócalo” to demand that feminicides and disappearances in Mexico stop.
Tamaulipas’ “colectivos” (collectives), who are focused on the search for the disappeared, requested the authority: “we need technology because we work with shovels, picks, and machetes.” From the collective “Buscando el camino hacia encontrarlo” (Looking for the way to find him), from Aldama, Cinthia Medina reported that they search with limited resources. “We have shovels, picks, machetes; with that, we work to scratch the earth and remove the remains,” said the activist, who has been looking for her brother for eight years.
“We need drones, something that would help us obtain a different view from above, to see the remains,” said the activist from Tamaulipas. She carries a device around her neck, which is the only technology the Tamaulipas authority has provided to her. She has to use the panic button if she feels in danger. “In case I feel in danger, I use the button, and the authorities start tracking me,” said the woman, mother of a baby who wears a T-shirt with her brother’s photo. She reported that there are more than 200 families with missing persons in the municipality of Aldama; there are even families who suffered the disappearance of two of their members.
From November 15 to 26, 2021, the CED visited 13 entities in Mexico and held more than 150 meetings with authorities, victims’ organizations, and civil society organizations. The Committee accompanied exhumations and search activities in Morelos, Coahuila, and the State of Mexico. They also visited the Human Identification Center of Coahuila and several federal, state, and migrant detention centers to verify compliance with the obligations contained in the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
The Committee stressed the importance of Mexico’s acceptance of the visit as a clear expression of the State’s openness to international scrutiny and support; however, they emphasized that enforced disappearances remain widespread, and impunity is almost absolute. Moreover, the implementation of recommendations issued by the Committee in 2015 and 2018 remains pending.
According to official figures, 95,000 people are missing in Mexico. More than 100 disappearances allegedly occurred during the experts’ visit. Mexico is also experiencing a severe crisis with more than 52,000 unidentified bodies of deceased people. Additionally, there is an increase in the number of missing children and women as a trend that has worsened during COVID-19. Migrants also face a special risk. Consequently, the CED urged Mexican authorities to quickly locate the disappeared persons, identify the deceased and take prompt steps to investigate all cases.
Mexico must adopt a national prevention policy involving all authorities to end enforced disappearances and ensure that victims have access to truth, justice, comprehensive reparation, and guarantees of non-repetition.
The report of this visit will be discussed and adopted by the plenary of the Committee during its 22nd Session, which will take place in Geneva between March 28 and April 8, 2022. The CED trusts that the recommendations adopted will be implemented; moreover, the CED is ready to cooperate in this process.