Over 30,000 people in Mexico have been reported missing in the past years, according to Jan Jarab, U.N. representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mexico, OHCHR.
Speaking at the forum "Against Pain and Fear: a Cry of Hope," organized by the Human Rights Center of Tlachinollan Mountain, Jarab announced the number of missing people in Mexico had reached 30,942.
The figure, based on data from the National Public Security System of the Ministry of the Interior, indicate a dramatic spike in the number of missing people.
In just two years, the figure has jumped by 7,300 people.
Of the 30,942 cases, 288 disappeared before 2007 and 648 over a decade ago. A further 330 cases have no date of disappearance.
But relatives and human rights organizations say the number of missing people could be as high as 100,000 as clandestine graves continue to be discovered across the country.
According to organizations, authorities have neglected the escalating crisis and ignored the pleas of families.
"It is the mothers, wives, parents, daughters, and children who, with a picture on their chest worn as an emblem, seek the whereabouts of their relatives. It is they who go to the medical services forensic, to the public ministries. They have armed themselves with great courage to climb the hills and seek clandestine graves," the Human Rights Center of Tlachinollan Mountain's website stated.
"Amid the risks of crime protected by the authorities, families dig up hills to unravel the truth. They are the relatives who in the midst of pain and fear raise their voice like a cry of hope," it added.
The human rights forum was launched in an effort to seek justice for the disappeared. It was attended by several national and international human rights organizations as well as relatives and friends of victims — including the families of the 43 Ayotzinapa teachers-training students, who disappeared in September 2014.
In its latest country report, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, IACHR, warned that Mexico is experiencing "serious human rights and violence crisis," which has led to "critical levels of impunity and inadequate care for victims and their families."
The IACHR report also stated the "militarized strategy" initiated by Felipe Calderón to combat drug trafficking intensified during Enrique Peña Nieto's term is proving to be a major obstacle to help the relatives and friends attain justice for those disappeared.