HomeNewsBrief2014 A Record Year for Disappearances in Mexico
BRIEF

2014 A Record Year for Disappearances in Mexico

HUMAN RIGHTS / 20 NOV 2014 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

New statistics show that Mexico recorded its highest ever number of disappearances in 2014, in a timely reminder that the disappearance of 43 student teachers in Iguala was not an isolated incident.

Mexico’s National Register of Missing and Disappeared People recorded 5,098 cases between January and October 2014 — already 584 higher than 2013, which previously held the record for the highest number of disappeared, reported Animal Politico.

Of these cases, 162 are being investigated at the federal level, implying that they either involve federal officials or high-level organized crime groups.

By far the highest number of cases were registered in the violence-torn state of Tamaulipas, where 875 people have been registered as disappeared so far this year, followed by the State of Mexico with 495 and Jalisco with 430.

The number of registered disappearances has been rising since 2007, only dipping in one year since then — 2012 — as Animal Politico sets out. There has been a rapid increase since Enrique Peña Nieto assumed the presidency at the end of 2012: in total, Mexico has registered 23,605 cases, and 40 percent of those have been under Peña Nieto.

Despite the record numbers, and growing public outrage over the Iguala case, the Mexican government is set to slash the budget of a specialized federal search unit by 63.5 percent for 2015, reported Animal Politico.

InSight Crime Analysis

It is important to note that of the 5,000 people registered as missing or disappeared in Mexico this year, not all will have been abducted — the list also includes those who went missing for other reasons, not necessarily related to crime. Some of the increase in reported cases may be accounted for by the fact that Peña Nieto has shown a greater will to address the issue than his predecessors, developing a National Plan for Searching for the Disappeared, and founding a specialized federal unit to address disappearances.

SEE ALSO: Mexico, News and Profiles

Nevertheless, the fact the rates of reported disappearances are highest in states wracked by organized crime-related violence suggests a strong correlation with criminal activity, and the numbers provide a disturbing statistical context for the mass disappearance of 43 students in Iguala.

Moreover, the increase in disappearances is accompanied by other indications of rising violence. Kidnappings were up by a third between January and October this year compared to the same period in 2013, according to statistics compiled by non-government organization Stop Kidnapping (Alto al Secuestro), reported Milenio. This simultaneous large rise in kidnapping suggests a deeply troubling pattern in criminal activity, and the continuing failure of the government to contain violence.

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content

MEXICO / 17 APR 2013

Nicaragua's appeals court will review the sentences handed to 18 Mexicans found guilty of drug trafficking after being arrested while…

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR / 14 NOV 2012

Mexican authorities have dismantled a communications network used by the Knights Templar drug gang in the…

MEXICO / 28 NOV 2013

In the view of Mexico's government, coordination in the national security strategy is an end in itself, independent…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …