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  • Relatives of women who were either murdered or disappeared hold crosses with names of ther relatives as they take part in a march for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Mexico.

    Relatives of women who were either murdered or disappeared hold crosses with names of ther relatives as they take part in a march for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Mexico. | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 November 2018
Opinion

The United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances reported Monday that disappearances in Mexico are extensive while giving recommendations. 

The United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) published its report Monday saying that forced disappearance in Mexico is widespread where "impunity and revictimization prevail,” adding that structural obstacles to accessing justice remains.

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The report came after the committee’s latest session held from Nov. 5 to Nov. 16 in Geneva.

Enforced disappearance in Mexico is extensive in the country. According to Mexican government data, around 37,000 people are missing. Along with this, issues of clandestine graves, low level of convictions and lack of reliable data were raised by CED.

In 2015 the committee gave Mexico a series of “recommendations” for implementing the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances to which Mexico is a signatory. It reported that the country was lacking when it came to implementing the recommendations.

It also denounced that Mexico has refused to let delegates of CED visit the country since 2013 and has demanded the government allow them in as well as facilitate the delegate's work with the necessary means to carry out their tasks.

In addition to these demands, the committee also asked the government to recognize the expertise of the committee when dealing with specific disappearance cases in Mexico, which the country has refused to do since 2007.

In 2017 Mexico passed the General Law on Enforced Disappearance which was considered to be a positive by CED. However it "notes with concern the low level of implementation" of the said law.

CED also expressed concern over the definition of disappearance in Mexican law does not comply with the definition of the International convention. For example, it does not classify the crime of enforced disappearance as a crime against humanity.

The committee showed apprehension over the "little participation and consultation of civil society organizations and victims." It also recommended to reform institutions and give more autonomy to investigating authorities.

Finally, the U.N. Committee said it was concerned about "the role given to military forces for the tasks of public security” which could increase enforced disappearance and generate impunity.

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