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Mexico launches database for more than 100,000 'missing' persons

Additionally, it is estimated that more than 52,000 human remains continue to be unidentified

Missing girl poster in Mexico
Missing girl poster in Mexico | Shutterstock

May 12, 2023 8:29am

Updated: August 31, 2023 9:45am

Mexico’s federal prosecutor's office (FGR) on Thursday announced that it is launching a database this month to help record and keep better track of the thousands of people who have gone missing in the country. 

The tool is meant to gather the information that is spread across several databases, including those with information regarding clandestine graves, arrests, criminal records, torture crimes, fingerprints, and genetics, the FGR said in the country’s official gazette. 

The National Forensic Data Bank (BNDF), as the database is named, is set to launch on May 29

In January, ADN America reported there were an estimated 112,000 individuals reported as “missing” in the country. Officials believe that the current number is higher and closer to 112,500.

ADN America reported last year more than 52,000 human remains continue to be unidentified from mass graves that have been discovered in the country. 

According to the Mexican government, missing persons are those whose whereabouts are unknown and whose absence is presumed, based on any evidence, to be related to the commission of a crime.

Many citizens and family members of those who have gone missing have criticized the government’s efforts to find the individuals, claiming that it has taken too few actions that are often ineffective. 

In response, several non-governmental organizations have been established to find the thousands that have gone missing. 

"Much remains to be done and this announcement is certainly a first step," human rights group Centro Prodh said in a tweet. "The FGR has finally recognized its responsibility."

Originally, the database was required by law to have launched in 2017, but its launch was stalled. In October, a judge ordered for it to be renewed after a missing person case could not be solved due to the lack of information. According to the judge, the lack of information on missing persons or unclaimed bodies is forcing families to search on their own.