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Mexico: United Nations recommendations must be a wakeup call to the tragic disappearance of thousands

    February 13, 2015

    The Mexican government must take serious steps to tackle the disappearance of thousands of people, said Amnesty International as the United Nation’s Committee on Enforced Disappearances prepares to publish recommendations to the country today.

    “More than 22,600 people have disappeared or gone missing in Mexico in the past eight years. Meanwhile thousands more people wait in anguish and turmoil unsure of what has happened to their loved ones. The recommendations to the Mexican government cannot just be baseless words, but instead must herald a tangible and urgent change in policy and legislation to address this chronic situation. It is time for the authorities to wake up to this tragedy,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    Last week the UN Committee reviewed the situation in Mexico and heard from victims and human rights organisations, including Amnesty International, in Geneva. The UN body will publish its recommendations to the Mexican government today.

    According to official figures, almost 50% of the 22,600 disappeared people went missing between 2012 and 2014, under the current administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto.

    Family members of the disappeared Ayotzinapa students were among the relatives that told the UN committee about the anguish of losing a loved one and their anger at the government’s attempts to prematurely close the investigation.

    In its submission to the committee Amnesty International highlighted the huge problem of impunity and lack of proper investigations, the need for comprehensive databases and protocols for searching for those disappeared and the insufficient attention granted to victims, including proper reparations.  

    Amnesty International spokespeople are available in London and Mexico City to talk about:
    - the content of the recommendations
    - the steps that the Mexican government should take to implement them
    - the current state of the Ayotzinapa students case and overall context of disappearances in Mexico 

    For further information, please contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca