MEXICO CITY –Mexico said more than 37,000 people are missing in the country, adding the official number is likely higher.
Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete said the number of missing at 37,485 is the most updated number in the country. He revealed the statistic at the unveiling of the new "National People Searching System."
"The number of disappeared people is certainly much greater, but we have to base ourselves on official data," he said. The official also reported that the government is working to unify information platforms so that the accurate number of disappeared people can be known.
The new system was created under the General Disappearance Law, which was passed in November 2017, designed in cooperation between three levels of government to deliver aid in the search and identification of victims.
Navarette said that this year marks the first time the fingerprint records from the forensic laboratories of all 32 states have been connected to the National Electoral Institute (INE), which collects fingerprints, full names and photographs in its registry.
Now the comparison of the forensic bases and the Mexican electoral data base found 4,500 "coincidences," from which 340 missing people have been identified in preliminary identification.
The minister added that the new system will now be implemented in hospitals, shelters and other locations where missing people might be located.
Navarette emphasized that the number of disappeared people is one of the "most painful and complicated" issues facing Mexico, and that families deserve to know the fate of their loved ones.
"This is a problem that has grown and multiplied in Mexico for many years," said Navarette. The number of disappeared people rose sharply following the launch of the country's "war on drugs" in 2007 by then president, Felipe Calderon, when drug cartels began to use more violence to fight for control of areas and the Mexican government launched operations to combat them.
The majority of missing people in Mexico are men between the age of 15 and 44, while the north, west and center of the country record the highest number of missing people. Enditem ---