Nearly 62,000 people have gone missing in Mexico – with most of those disappearing during the six years of the country’s bloody war on drug cartels.
Initial figures released last year suggest 41,000 were unaccounted for – but that number has now increased by around 50%.
Officials have so far discovered 1,124 corpses in 873 clandestine burial pits.
The country’s National Search Commission said in its first 13 months of work, only about one-third of the bodies found were identified and less than a quarter of the total had been turned over to relatives.
Image: The largest number of body pits have been registered in the northern border state of Tamaulipas
The government has set up DNA databases to help identify the dead, but the majority of bodies found still go unidentified.
Historically, the highest number of missing – and largest number of body pits – have been registered in the northern border state of Tamaulipas.
Sites are frequently used by drug and kidnapping gangs to dispose of the bodies of their victims or rivals.
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The commission said about a third of the corpses found in the last 13 months were located in just three of the country’s 31 states: the northern state of Sinaloa, the Gulf coast state of Veracruz and the Pacific coast state of Colima.
But many of the most recent cases of disappearances have been centered in the western state of Jalisco, home to the drug cartel of the same name.
Sky’s Stuart Ramsey speaks gets access to one of Mexico’s main drug cartels (2018)
Karla Quintana, head of the National Registry of Missing or Missing Persons (RNPED), told a news conference: “The official data of missing persons is 61,637 and around 26% of them were women.”
More than 97% of the total went missing since 2006, when then-President Felipe Calderon sent the army to the streets to fight drug traffickers, fragmenting the cartels, making stopping them more difficult.
Source : Sky News