A UN commission has reported that disappearances are widespread in Mexico and authorities are often involved. The country has been urged to pass a law establishing enforced disappearances as a crime.
The UN criticized what it called a failure to prevent and punish enforced disappearances in Mexico in a report published on Friday. These disappearances involve kidnappings carried out or permitted by officials. The most notorious example was the case of 43 students from the southern city of Iguala who went missing last fall, allegedly at the hands of local police. The case sparked protests across Mexico (as shown in picture).
"The information received by the committee shows a context of generalized disappearances in a great part of the country, many of which could qualify as enforced disappearances," the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances declared.
The UN committee voiced concern over "the near inexistence" of convictions in such disappearances.
Mexico acknowledges a figure of more than 23,000 people who are considered either disappeared or of unknown whereabouts, but it has no specific numbers on enforced disappearances.
"The Mexican government should take measures to thwart the disappearance of thousands of people," Amnesty International wrote in a statement on Friday.
das/sb (AP, dpa)