'Where are they?': Relatives of Mexico's missing demand answers

·1-min read

Relatives of missing Mexicans protested on Monday in front of the presidential palace, calling on the government to do more to find the tens of thousands of people who have disappeared.

"90,000+. Where are they?" read a banner brought by families to the event in Mexico City marking International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances.

"This day cannot go unnoticed," said Maria Teresa Valadez, whose brother Fernando went missing in 2015 in the state of Sonora in the north of the violence-plagued country.

"Why does the government worry about other things and not forced disappearances?" the 39-year-old asked.

The Mexican office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called on the authorities to strengthen rights guarantees for the missing and their relatives.

"Disappearances are one of the most terrible human rights violations... and as such require a committed and coordinated response from institutions," it said in a statement.

It praised efforts so far including the creation of a forensics coordinating team in March 2020 aimed at identifying thousands of unclaimed bodies.

Last week, a group representing families of the missing said that more than 50,000 unidentified bodies were lying in mass graves or with forensic services.

The Movement for Our Disappeared in Mexico warned that the country was facing "a deep forensic crisis" in the identification of human remains.


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