The “historic visit” of the UN committee motivated by the 94,000 missing in Mexico

The United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) has embarked on a 12-day “historic visit” to Mexico during which it will assess the country’s capacity to respond to the missing persons crisis in which more than 94,000 people have faded away.

Led by Peruvian lawyer Carmen Rosa Villa Quintana, the committee is made up of a group of experts who oversee the implementation of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, to which Mexico is a party. .

The CED has been seeking to come to Mexico since 2013, but the previous federal government rejected his visitation requests despite requests from family members of the victims for him to be allowed into the country.

“This is a historic visit, requested since 2013,” Villa said Monday during an event with federal officials.

The CED is expected to visit 12 states and meet with city and state officials, relatives of missing persons, representatives of civil society and officials of the National Human Rights Commission, among others.

UN experts will also attend exhumations carried out by the authorities and the families of the victims, accompany search squads on missions to locate missing persons and visit prisons to examine their registration systems.

Villa said his team had two main goals: to help Mexico prevent enforced disappearances and to contribute to the fight against impunity.

Mexico has extremely high impunity rates for many crimes, including kidnappings and homicides. Moreover, due to a lack of forensic experts and money, the authorities have struggled to cope with the immense task of identifying the bodies of victims of crime.

According to data released by Movimiento por Nuestros Desaparecidos (Movement for Our Missing Persons), a non-governmental organization, there are more than 52,000 unidentified bodies in the morgues.

Speaking at Monday’s event, Deputy Interior Minister for Human Rights Alejandro Encinas acknowledged that the federal government is grappling with a “crisis” of missing persons.

“It was at the start of this government that the state opened up to international scrutiny and oversight and recognized the missing persons crisis which today stands at over 94,000 missing persons. “, did he declare.

“It is the most painful legacy facing the Mexican government and the one in which we must make the most efforts … to overcome [it]”said Encinas, who once described Mexico as a” huge hidden tomb. “

“I want this visit to be beneficial, to have good results,” said the deputy minister, explaining that the government is open to hearing the recommendations of the DEC.

“… The success of your mission will involve the success of the policies we implement. We are ready to open the doors to the entire federal government so that you can fulfill your mission, ”he added.

The CED is due to hold a press conference on the last day of its visit to Mexico, November 26, and will publish a report on its findings next March.

With reports of Milenio and El País

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