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UN worried at disappearances in Mexico

Liliana Alcántara| El Universal
10:39Friday 13 February 2015

The cases of enforced disappearances represent a serious problem in Mexico. (Photo: Archive/ EL UNIVERSAL )

The Committee on Enforced Disappearances said that the lack of data on the subject complicates the efforts to solve it.

The Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) of the United Nations noted that in Mexico the problem of disappearances is widespread and in many cases they are enforced, meaning that a public official is involved in them.

The Committee pointed out at the "serious" case of the 43 students missing from the Teachers Training School in Ayotzinapa, saying that it illustrates the challenges faced by the authorities in the prevention, investigation and punishment of the enforced disappearances and search for missing persons.

Also, the agency criticized the impunity that persists in many cases of forced disappearances in light of the near total absence of prison sentences for this crime, even from the so-called "dirty war" of the seventies.

In this regard, it asked the Mexican government to locate as soon as possible all those who had been subjected to enforced disappearance during the dirty war and advance its investigations in order to have the authors prosecuted and punished without delay.

This morning, the Committee presented a report of the meeting with representatives of the Mexican authorities, the National Human Rights Commission, activists and relatives of the victims of disappearances, held on February 2 and 3 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Committee expressed its concern about the lack of accurate data about the number of disappearances, which makes it impossible to know the true magnitude of the problem and hinders the adoption of public policies to combat it, as well as it complicates the deficiencies in the area of searching for people and the identification of remains.

It also urged lawmakers to perform the needed reform processes in order to keep military courts from interfering in the investigation of disappearances committed by the military, so that they can be judged by civil laws.