The parents of the 43 disappeared students of Ayotzinapa will meet with Alejandro Encinas, Undersecretary of the Interior.

Viduldo Rosales Sierra, the spokesman for the parents of the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa, reported that they would meet with Alejandro Encinas next Wednesday, June 1st, 2022, Undersecretary of the Interior in Mexico City. Rosales Sierra said they expect results after the third report of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) has already been presented.

He mentioned that everything remains the same, so it is expected that there will be results in the meeting with the also Head of the Special Commission on the Ayotzinapa case. Another of the spokespeople of the group of parents of the 43 “normalistas,” Melitón Ortega, said that they hope that in this meeting, the federal government can present advances to the recommendations from the GIEI.

Ortega said the parents of the 43 are baffled because nearly seven months have passed, and they have not met with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, even though he promised that every month he would meet with them to inform them about the investigations.  Therefore, he announced the action plan that will be implemented to find alive the 43 missing students, which will take place from June 6 to 16.

The actions include local marches, particularly in Chilpancingo, Acapulco, and Mexico City. On June 15, a rally will be held at the Attorney General’s Office (FGR). On June 16, a march will depart from “el Angel de la Independencia” to the Anti-monument +43 in Reforma Avenue in Mexico City.

The number of disappeared people grows, but not the capacity to find them: they add up to 100,000 amid non-compliance and impunity.

Mexico reached more than 100,000 disappeared people, according to data collected by the National Search Commission in the National Registry of Disappeared and Missing Persons. In a context in which several mechanisms provided by the 2017 General Law have not been launched, international instances point out the prevalence of impunity around the issue.

So far, Jalisco ranks first with 14,951 people; Tamaulipas, the second with 11 thousand 971; the State of Mexico, the third with 10 thousand 99; and Nuevo León, the fourth with 6 thousand 218.  

74.7% are men and 24.7% women, although, in the last 12 months, women have come to represent 30% of the total.

In addition, of the 14,507 cases that remain without a reference year, after records ranging from one to 322 people between 1964 and 2006 (the highest in 1974), the figure began to skyrocket in 2007, a year after the beginning of Felipe Calderón’s six-year term, when 838 missing people were registered, to reach 5,157 in 2011, 4,180 in 2012 and 4,118 in 2013. The annual number of missing persons continued to increase in the following years. In 2018, a yearly total of 7,643 was registered, while in 2021, it was 9,732.

Disappearances in Mexico: Mothers ask for dialogue with Mexican President AMLO

On May 10, “Mother’s Day,” collectives of mothers organized a march to make visible the crisis in terms of disappeared people in the country and demand their search.

Collectives of mothers and relatives of disappeared persons marched this May 10 to protest against the disappearance crisis in Mexico. This is “the eleventh March of National Dignity: Mothers looking for their daughters and sons, truth, and justice”.

The march integrated more than 60 groups of relatives that are part of the Movement for our disappeared in Mexico.

Some of these groups are outside the National Palace, demanding dialogue with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to address the crisis as a priority issue.

Madres de desaparecidos exigen diálogo con López Obrador en Palacio Nacional este 10 de mayo. (Twitter @movNDmx)

Report of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances – Mexico

During the presentation of the Report of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances on the visit to Mexico from November 15 to 26, 2021, the body of independent experts urged an end to absolute impunity and the establishment of a national policy for the prevention and eradication of disappearances. The Committee also recommended strengthening search and investigation processes, adequate human and financial support to the National Search Commission and local commissions, and the systematic and effective coordination of all institutions involved in searching, investigating, and accompanying victims. Public servants, both at the federal, state, and municipal levels, and organized crime as central perpetrators of disappearances, are responsible for the growth of disappearances in Mexico.

Regarding the disappearance of human rights defenders and more than 30 journalists between 2003 and 2021, none of these people have been located, and investigations and sanctions against those responsible have not progressed. The Committee considered of “particular concern” the victimization of women since, during disappearances, they are the ones who remain in charge of the families and are responsible for the search for their loved ones by their means.

Impunity in Mexico is a structural feature that favors the reproduction and cover-up of enforced disappearances. As of November 26 last year, only between 2 and 6% of cases of enforced disappearances were prosecuted. Only 36 sentences have been issued in cases at the national level. The lack of investigations contributes to the notable absence of victims’ trust in the authorities and many unreported cases.

Another element to underscore is that the National Search Plan has not been implemented to conduct investigations despite institutional and legal advances.

Mexico creates the National Centre for Human Identification; collectives and activists see it as a big step.

Specialists regret that the National Centre for Human Identification will not have the budget and necessary resources since the Centre will depend on the National Search Commission.

Specialists, human rights defenders, and people searching for their relatives agreed that creating the National Centre for Human Identification (CNIH) is an excellent step in the fight against the disappearance of people. However, they warned it was worrying that it was born without resources.

Santiago Corcuera, the specialist of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances, said that it is “excellent news given the enormous dimension of the forensic crisis in which the country is plunged” and celebrated the speed with which institutions responded to the recommendations of the report made by the United Nations Committee. “In Mexico, inadequate equipment, qualified personnel, and appropriate forensic identification facilities persist and call for improving genetic data management.”

Cecilia Flores from “Buscadoras de Sonora” hopes the creation of the Centre does not impede their work as collectives in search of their relatives.

José Reveles, a journalist who is specialized in disappearances, celebrated the creation of the CNIH, which, he said, “will be relevant, to the extent that it concentrates all the information that is dispersed, so that things improve in this humanitarian crisis, a country can’t have tens of thousands of people who have not been able to be identified.”

Finally, César Pérez, a human rights defender, stressed that “it is important to provide scientific criteria to this center that will try to pay a historical debt to relatives looking for their loved ones.”

By Miguel A. Rivera. Excelsior

Photo by Andre on