The United Nations has expressed serious concern over enforced disappearance of more than 95,000 people in Mexico, urging authorities to act immediately to search, investigate and identify the missing.
As of November 26, the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) said, more than 95,000 people have been officially registered as disappeared in the north American country.
The CED released a statement on Monday, following its 10-day visit to the country. It said more than 100 disappearances allegedly took place during its visit to Mexico from 15 to 26 November.
During the visit, the CED delegation, comprising four committee members, went to 13 Mexican states and held more than 150 meetings with authorities, victims' organizations and NGOs.
The committee called on Mexican authorities to “quickly locate those who have gone missing, identify the deceased and take prompt action to investigate all cases”.
“We acknowledge that some legal and institutional progress has been made in recent years, but enforced disappearances are still widespread and impunity is almost absolute,” it said in a statement.
The committee also expressed concern over increase in number of women and children who have gone missing under mysterious circumstances. According to the committee, the trend of disappearances has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, with migrants particularly at risk.
Noting that there were over 52,000 unidentified bodies of deceased people, the committee stressed that “the fight against impunity cannot wait.”
It also referred to “scenarios of collusion between state agents and organized crime”, with some enforced disappearances “committed directly by state agents.”
Pointing to several recommendations made between 2015 and 2018, still pending implementation, the committee stressed that disappearances “are not only a phenomenon of the past, but still persist.”
The committee cited victims as saying that they suffered from “indifference and lack of progress” during their search for answers and justice.
“They have vehemently expressed to us their pain and that disappeared persons are not numbers, but human beings,” the committee said in a statement.
The root causes of the problem, the delegation concluded, have not been addressed and that the adopted security approach is “not only insufficient, but also inadequate.”
Last summer, the Mexican government sued some of the biggest American gun manufacturers, accusing them of fueling bloodshed through lax control and reckless business practices.
Mexican authorities say the lax control contributes to illegal flow of weapons over the border, arguing that the US-made weapons have “fueled an explosion in homicides” in Mexico over the past decade.
The lawsuit — filed in a US federal court in Boston — seeks as much as $10bn in compensation from the American companies.