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News > Mexico

Mexico: 40,180 Missing People According to Official Data

  • Mothers of missing people march in Mexico City demanding justice and answers about their relatives. May 10, 2015.

    Mothers of missing people march in Mexico City demanding justice and answers about their relatives. May 10, 2015. | Photo: EFE

Published 17 January 2019

This is the latest report published, but the number keeps increasing.

According to the National Registry of Disappeared and Missing People, there are 40,180 missing persons in Mexico, and the count is still ongoing.


UN Report: Enforced Disappearances Widespread in Mexico

The institution’s director, Roberto Cabrera Alfaro, said that the registry is still under construction and counts with the “digital identity” of most disappeared people, including full name, birthdate, photography and fingerprints.

“Thanks to the Human Identification Work Group, the National Search Commission was able to identify more than 400 people registered as unknown, some waiting more than 10 years to be identified. Out of those 400 cases, 20 have a disappearance report,” said Cabrera on Thursday.

Cabrera presented his last report as head of the organization, as he resigned on Jan. 15.

He also pointed out that there are about 1,500 cases in which federal authorities have not been able to give an answer about the bodies.

“This could mean, in the worst of the cases, that the location is unknown,” said Cabrera.

Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete unveiled the “National People Search System” in October 2018 and announced there were 37,485 disappeared people in the country, but he also mentioned that the data might be higher than official numbers.

The new system was created under the General Disappearance Law, which was passed in November 2017, designed in cooperation between three levels of government to aid in the search and identification of victims. This system will be implemented in hospitals, shelters and other locations where missing people might turn up.

The number of disappeared people rose sharply following the launch of the country's "war on drugs" in 2007 by then President Felipe Calderon. The majority of missing people in Mexico are men between the age of 15 and 44, while the north, west, and center of the country record the highest number of missing people.

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