Mexico has officially registered more than 100,000 people as missing or disappeared, according to data from the Interior Ministry’s National Registry of Missing People.
From 1964 to the present day, the country has registered more than 100,023 people missing, of which more than 24,700 are women, and more than 74,700 are men. The gender of 516 people is unknown.
The figure has risen by more than 20,000 people in the past two years alone, according to the data, which was met with outrage and urgent calls for better systems for search and rescue.
Only 35 of the disappearances recorded have led to the conviction of the perpetrators, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in a statement Tuesday.
“No effort should be spared to put an end to these human rights violations and abuses of extraordinary breadth, and to vindicate victims’ rights to truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition,” said Bachelet.
Marlene Harbig of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) discussed the trauma suffered by families with missing persons.
“The first few hours are the most important, when someone disappears, their relatives have the right to know what has happened,” said Harbig in a news release. “Knowing the fate of disappeared persons is primarily a humanitarian act.”
Despite the numbers, Bachelet highlighted progress made by the Mexican government, recognizing Mexico as the first country to allow a visit by the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances to work with authorities in 13 Mexican states.
Both the ICRC and the UN have called for family members to be allowed to work with government authorities in working to find their loved ones.
According to a statement to the media, Michele Bachelet requested the government “to place the families of those who have disappeared at the center of their efforts, and to make the necessary resources available for investigations and searches to be effective.”