Photo: Government Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio and Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam
Mexico’s Government Secretariat and federal Attorney General’s Office will soon create a joint unit to investigate and solve the cases of thousands of missing persons.
Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam made the announcement in statements to reporters after meeting with mothers of the disappeared who had been staging a hunger strike outside the headquarters of the AG’s office in Mexico City.
The Mexican government recently said it had a database with the names of roughly 26,000 people who “have not been located” for various reasons, a list that is being thoroughly reviewed to determine the causes of the disappearances.
The cases include victims of organized crime, authorities say, but also people believed to have left home in a bid to emigrate illegally to the United States.
The war on drugs launched by former President Felipe Calderon, who was in office from 2006 to 2012, left about 70,000 people dead in Mexico, or an average of 32 per day, officials say.
Some of the victims were buried in mass graves or dissolved with corrosive chemicals.
In addition to the new joint investigative unit, which will ensure families of the missing “do not have to bounce around from one entity to another,” authorities will guarantee that the investigators working on these cases remain at their posts until they are completed.
Murillo also termed “truly impressive” the investigations conducted by relatives of the missing, saying they were “much more thorough” than the official probes.
“We’re going to work together so this information isn’t lost, so investigations aren’t halted,” the attorney general said alongside Government Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio.
In the same press conference, Margarita Lopez, a representative of the mothers of the disappeared, said her group accepted authorities’ commitment to ensure “clearer coordination” of investigations with the aim of resolving these cases.
She also said the group of mothers who had been on hunger strike since May 9 decided to lift their protest now that authorities have pledged to work to solve the cases of their missing relatives.