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News > Mexico

ICRC Mexico Must Integrate Families in Search of Missing People

  • Red Cross' Jordi Raich spoke about missing people and how to treat their families, in Guadalajara's International Book Fair, Mexico.

    Red Cross' Jordi Raich spoke about missing people and how to treat their families, in Guadalajara's International Book Fair, Mexico. | Photo: EFE

Published 28 November 2018

According to Jordi Raich, representant of the ICRC, Mexico must integrate families in search of missing persons

Jordi Raich, the representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for Mexico, Central America and Cuba, said that families must be integrated into the search for missing persons. This action is essential if government institutions want to manage this problem in a "professional" and "empathic" manner.

Mexico Confirms Number of Disappeared at 37,485

"We always advocate so the families are involved in every process from the search, in the investigation, in the identification, so that they can contribute their fears and information because these associations collect information and try to integrate them as much as possible," Jordi Raich told EFE, during his visit to the renowned Guadalajara's International Book Fair (FIL) in Mexico.

According to Raich, the organizations of families of missing persons can give important data and useful information to government institutions which could help during the investigations. He went to the FIL in Guadalajara to be part of a forum on attention to families of missing people, organized by the ICRC attended by experts and social organizations.

According to Mexican authorities, there are around 40,000 missing people in Mexico, according to official cases, but according to Raich "surely there are more than those cases because evidently not all the disappearances are reported or documented."

Attention to victims and the families of missing persons depends on the training given to public workers attending the victims, but also on the fact of having resources and adequate facilities. Mexican authorities ought to work together and share information, and also share the progress of research with families during the entire duration of the search, he said. 

Adding that it should "not only be the purest and most accurate information about your case, but what kind of information is obtained, that is given continuously and all the time in an empathetic way that helps (relatives) to alleviate the suffering of that disappearance."

When the public institutions work together, findings become more agile and this facilitates the identification of a missing person, or a corpse found. "There is a lot of information that is lost because an institution is not in contact, not for bad faith but simply for lack of a route of attention and adequate protocols that establish what information they (institutions) exchange and share, or how families get involved," he said.

It is paramount that institutions are orchestrated in the best way possible in order to assist families, as a missing person eventuality brings "psychological, physical, economic, administrative consequences, as many of these families, are completely traumatized by the event."

The ICRC works in order to help governments to reach better results and be aware of the problems that can be found in these situations. "We work to help the authorities to improve the management of information, that the information of the disappeared is standardized throughout the country," Raich concluded.



Jordi Raich
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