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52,000 corpses unidentified in Mexico

  • Published at 03:35 pm August 27th, 2021
Mexico graves
Aerial view of new graves at the Cemetery Number 13 in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, on August 22, 2021, amid the Covid-19 pandemic AFP

Sixty percent of the roughly 52,000 unidentified bodies lie in mass graves in public cemeteries,

More than 50,000 unidentified bodies lie in mass graves or with forensic services in violence-wracked Mexico, a group representing families of the missing said on Thursday.

The Movement for Our Disappeared in Mexico warned that the country was facing ‘a deep forensic crisis’ in the identification of human remains.

Sixty percent of the roughly 52,000 unidentified bodies lie in mass graves in public cemeteries, according to the report, which obtained the figures through public information requests to the forensic services.

The rest are at forensic facilities, universities or locations that the government was unable or unwilling to confirm, it said.

The figures ‘show how the increase in violence in the past 15 years has had a major impact on society, particularly in terms of forced disappearances and homicides,’ the report said.


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Insufficient personnel, inadequate training, low salaries and temporary contracts are some of the causes of the forensic service problems, the report said.

It said that the government had agreed to set up a new forensic identification mechanism that will be outlined in the coming days.

In October 2019, the National Human Rights Commission said there were more than 30,000 unidentified corpses lying unclaimed in Mexico’s morgues.

The Latin American country has seen more than 300,000 murders since 2006 when it deployed the military in the war on drug trafficking, most of them blamed on criminal gangs.

According to a government registry, there are around 82,500 people missing across the country.

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