There are 73,201 missing persons in Mexico, according to a federal government report presented on Monday.
The figure – a record high – is 11,564 higher than the number of missing persons reported in January by the the National Search Commission (CNB).
Presented by Interior Minister Olga Sánchez and Deputy Interior Minister Alejandro Encinas, the new CNB report says that 97.9% of the more than 73,000 people currently missing disappeared after 2006, the year in which former president Felipe Calderón launched the so-called war on drugs.
The remaining 2.1% of missing people disappeared in the years between 1964 and 2006.
Since the former year, a total of 177,844 people have been reported as missing, of whom 104,643, or 58.8%, were located. A total of 98,242 missing persons, 93.9%, were found alive, while 6,401 of those located, 6.1%, were dead.
Encinas said that 63,523 people have been reported as missing since the current federal government took office at the end of 2018. Of that number, 35,652 people have been located, he said.
That means that 27,871 people who were reported missing in the past 1 1/2 years are still unaccounted for.
The states with the highest number of missing person reports during the federal government are, in order, México state, Jalisco, Tamaulipas, Veracruz and Sinaloa.
Encinas said that 1,146 hidden graves containing 1,682 bodies have been exhumed in the 19 months the administration led by President López Obrador has been in power. Just over 42% of the exhumed bodies – 712 – have been fully identified, he said.
The deputy minister has previously described all of Mexico as an “enormous hidden grave.”
Almost 60% of the hidden graves found between December 2018 and June 2020 were located in just five states — Veracruz, Sinaloa, Colima, Guerrero and Sonora. Crime gangs have a strong presence in all five.
While the federal government and state authorities have faced criticism for not doing enough to locate Mexico’s many missing persons, the former appears to be making progress in arguably the most prominent abduction case in recent years.
The government announced last week that the remains of one of 43 teaching students kidnapped in Guerrero in 2014 had been identified by forensic scientists at the University of Innsbruck in Austria.