Where are they? New plan would solve disappeared Mexicans’ case

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The Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has launched a plan that seeks to resolve the situation of 70,000 cases related to forced disappearances

Where are they? New plan would solve disappeared Mexicans' case

Mexico is under a humanitarian crisis and violation of human rights for the damage caused by the war perpetrated by organized crime. As a "huge clandestine mass grave", Alejandro Encinas, undersecretary of Human Rights, has qualified Mexico, referring to the 40,000 disappeared, the 26,000 bodies to be identified and the 1,100 clandestine graves found throughout the national territory.

Leer en español: ¿Dónde están? Inicia nuevo plan por los desaparecidos mexicanos

The plan, which was recently revealed, will have a budget of 25 million dollars and seeks to link the victims' families with the purpose of claiming their rights and compensating for the damages caused by the indifference of past governments on this issue.

A bittersweet hope

This new programmatic plan is proposed as a new hope for the victims' families, who have had to organize themselves autonomously to undertake the search for their relatives.

Despite this new illusion, it is clear to highlight the crisis that has been increasing during the last decade of Mexican life. Alejandro Encinas told Reuters that previous governments "simulated" progress in resolving cases based on search and repair policies that only remained on paper.

During Enrique Peña Nieto's government, 25 million dollars were budgeted for the operation of the National Search Commission, of which only $ 314,000 were spent. In addition to this, although Peña Nieto left stipulated the functioning of a search system for missing persons, compliance with real actions was practically zero, according to data provided by Encinas to Reuters.

Thus, the General Law on the Forced Disappearance of Persons, created in August of 2017, will begin to function fully in this new presidential mandate. "The new National Search System (SNB) of people would be ready in March and will be accompanied by the appointment in the coming days of the new head of the agency, " confirmed the undersecretary.

For his part, Rafael Barrantes, coordinator of the Missing Persons Program of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for Mexico and Central America, welcomed the implementation of the special mechanism for the search and identification of missing persons.

"Perhaps the main merit of this plan is that it seeks to adapt the State's response to the magnitude and complexity of a problem that exceeds the response capacity of any State in the world," said Barrantes to DW, highlighting in turn the government's interest in maintaining direct contact with the families of the victims.

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What is the plan about?

As the newspaper El País reports, the proposals of this plan cover different perspectives, among them, what concerns the meeting of 26,000 corpses in 1,100 mass graves throughout Mexico.

Among the proposals, there are the opening of a National Institute of Forensic Identification, the training of search brigades, the creation of DNA databanks and the acquisition of laboratories and implements for exhumations; counting in turn, with new criminal definitions and penalties.

Starting from these, the Mexican government wants to prioritize in finding people alive. So the development of actions by the justice and police is necessary to achieve the sanction and the preventive role.

For this new plan, 25 million dollars will be allocated and it will also be in place the support of international institutions such as the National School of Anthropology, the International Committee of the Red Cross, United Nations agencies and the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team.


LatinAmerican Post | Jorge Becerra

Translated from "¿Dónde están? Inicia nuevo plan por los desaparecidos mexicanos​"​​​​​​

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