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English Editorial EL UNIVERSAL

To disappear in Mexico



14 February 2015

All Mexicans intuitively perceive that it is getting increasingly dangerous to live in this country. The last survey from INEGI indicates that 22.5 million people suffered from at least one crime and 123,000 victims were abducted, both figures only during 2013. How many have gone out of their homes and never returned? How many are missing? There is no information. The existing data led the United Nations to conclude that the problem is widespread and that very little has been done to stop it.

The very lack of numbers which will allow to determine how serious is the disappearance of people in Mexico is already in itself indicative of the historic negligence that the Mexican State has had in the face of this national tragedy. The UN did well to point out that not even an effort has been made to repair the damage caused in the past century to the victims of the Dirty War, consisting in arrest, torture and the murder of people opposed to the regime.

Millions of dollars have been spent already in bureaucracy actions surrounding the topic. The presentation of results should not take longer.

Is specially worrisome, among all of what was said yesterday by the Committee on Enforced Disappearances of the United Nations (UN), that the disappearances happen in a great area of Mexico and that the criminals are in many cases the civil servants, against whom judicial proceedings rarely end in convictions.

And the UN implies that all the elements point out to a deliberate attempt by the Mexican government to cover the problem instead of solving it.

In response, the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Relationships said that "the recommendations issued by the Committee do not adequately reflect the information submitted by Mexico" nor do they offer solutions. However, few recommendations are viable when the country in question does not provide enough data to help establish a diagnosis.

On this occasion, if one wants to demonstrate a true commitment to the victims of enforced disappearance - and not only to produce a good image in the international community - the response of the Mexican government must be more than the traditional offering of legislative reforms, or the conformist belief that the constitutional changes are of advanced world level.

As in all the security related questions in Mexico, the main obstacle is not the lack of laws, nor its hardness, but their implementation, with a vengeance and without political considerations.


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