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Report: Authorities 'disappear' Mexicans

Feb. 21, 2013 at 8:10 AM   |   Comments

MEXICO CITY, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Security forces in Mexico have participated in the disappearances of hundreds of people from 2006-12, Human Rights Watch said.

Human Rights Watch issued a 176-page report, "Mexico's Disappeared: The Enduring Cost of a Crisis Ignored" Wednesday, documenting nearly 250 enforced disappearances during the administration of former President Felipe Calderon.

Toward the end of his presidency, Calderon promised to act on reports of enforced disappearances by the army, navy, and federal and local police, though he failed to do so, a release from Human Rights Watch said.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto hasn't done much better since he took over this year, said Jose Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch.

"President Pena Nieto has inherited one of worst crises of disappearances in the history of Latin America," Vivanco said. "While his administration has announced some important measures to assist victims, it has yet to take the steps necessary to ensure that those responsible for these horrific crimes are brought to justice."

Prosecutors fail to thoroughly and promptly search for those reported missing, the release said.

In the report, Human Rights Watch suggested the government create a database of the disappeared and unidentified human remains; reform the Military Code of Justice to make sure disappearances committed by military personnel are adequately investigated; revise the definition of "enforced disappearance" so it consistent across the country; and mandate that all detainees be presented before the public prosecutor's office before being taken to a detention facility.

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