RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Mexican authorities found 174 clandestine graves in the first half of 2021, a figure lower than the 297 found in the same period last year, the Interior Ministry (Segob) reported Wednesday.
“We see a downward trend in the finding of clandestine graves, which is a positive although, of course, it is a phenomenon that subsists in our country,” the undersecretary of Human Rights, Population and Migration, Alejandro Encinas, said at a press conference.
According to the “Semiannual Report on Search and Identification of Missing Persons”, in the same period of 2019 -January to June- 208 graves were found, and in 2020 297.
The numbers of bodies recovered were 494 in the first semester of 2019, 461 in the first six months of 2020, and 393 in that same period of 2021.
Encinas insisted that the decrease in the figures does not mean that search efforts have decreased, as these continue “every day” by families, the National Search Commission (CNB), and state search commissions.
REDUCTION OF MISSING PERSONS
On the other hand, a reduction in reports of disappearances can be seen, as between July 2019 and June 2020, there were 9,315, and between the same months of 2020 and 2021, there were 7,267, representing a decrease of almost 22%.
Regarding missing persons since March 1964 (when the registry began), 220,330 were reported so far, of which 130,842 (59.38 %) were located, and 89,488 (40.6 %) remain unlocated.
Of those located, 93.39 % were alive.
Between December 1, 2018 -when President Andrés Manuel López Obrador took office- and June 30, 2021, 49,581 missing persons were reported, 56.54 % were located.
So in this period, 21,546 people disappeared and are still unaccounted for.
Women represent 24.70% of missing persons, but more than half are between 10 and 17 years old.
The states with the highest number of reports of missing persons during this period are Jalisco, Mexico City, Michoacán, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Estado de México, Guanajuato, Sonora, Sinaloa and Zacatecas, which account for 76.33% of the reports.
IMPUNITY, THE MAIN PROBLEM
Regarding the main reason why forced disappearance continues to be one of the biggest problems in Mexico, Encinas said that impunity does not allow progress to be made.
“As long as we do not resolve that cases of disappearance are punished, this phenomenon will continue to reproduce itself,” he explained, adding that “impunity is the reason why this phenomenon is still present”.