Mexico officials confirmed Tuesday that there are 37,485 people disappeared in the country, 340 of which have been declared dead.
Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete while unveiling the new “National People Search System”, announced the number of missing persons in the country as the most updated one.
But he also mentioned that the data might be higher than official numbers. The total number of disappeared was obtained from the creation of a registry at the national level.
“The registry yielded paradoxical data, 37,485, and surely the number of missing persons is much greater; but we had to rely on official data,” he said.
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 aid in the search and identification of victims. This system will be implemented in hospitals, shelters and other locations where missing people might turn up.
A cross-check system was made between two databases: the fingerprint system at forensic laboratories of the 32 states, and the National Electoral Institute (INE) database. So far this collaborative system has helped identify 340 dead persons. The minister informed the public that 4,000 more have been profiled during the cross-check system between two recognition systems.
Relatives of missing persons and human rights organizations claim that the number of disappearances is around 40,000.
The number of disappeared people rose sharply following the launch of the country’s “war on drugs” in 2007 by then President Felipe Calderon. 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.
Many relatives have organized their own private search for missing persons which resulted in discovering of scores of unmarked graves in the country.