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AI: Mexico must investigate disappearances

Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Tuesday called on the Mexican government to investigate the disappearances [report, PDF; press release] of thousands of people and acknowledge the government's involvement in the disappearances. AI's report said 26,121 people were reported disappeared or missing between December 2006 and December 2012, but 40 percent of the cases were not investigated. Further, AI reported there was "compelling evidence to presume the direct or indirect involvement of public officials in at least 85" cases. The rights group said, "Even though the Mexican government has now partly recognized the magnitude of disappearances in the country, it has yet to acknowledge the involvement of federal, state and municipal agents in many of the cases." The federal justice system has only convicted two people for enforced disappearances and AI demands that the Mexican government ensure that there is an enforceable separate criminal offense of enforced disappearances that guarantees that all reported disappearance are fully investigated.

Enforced disappearances refers to the practice of placing people in secret detentions for weeks or months without ever being brought before a judge. In March 2012 UN High Commission for Human Rights Navi Pillay cited enforced disappearances [JURIST report] as one of the most heinous crimes. In August 2011 the UN called for all states [JURIST report] to end the "heinous crime" of enforced or involuntary disappearances. The UN urged all state to translate and disseminate the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance [text] which was adopted by the UN General Assembly [official website] two decades ago.

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