The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) called on the Mexican government to ensure that the National Registry of Data on Missing and Unaccounted for Persons remains independent and effective. The IACHR statement came after Karla Quintana, Head, National Search Commission, announced her resignation and the government announced that she will be replaced shortly.
After the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB) announced that it was preparing a call to replace Quintana, the IACHR asked for guarantees that the new head will maintain the independence and institutionality of the National Search Commission. "States must guarantee the adequate, accurate and reliable registration of missing persons, corpses and unidentified skeletal remains, which contributes to the adoption of measures to carry out an effective search," the Commission says in X (previously Twitter)..
Quintana's resignation comes at a time of criticism against the government for the lack of progress in the cases of missing persons. In addition, Alejandro Encinas, Deputy Minister for Human Rights, SEGOB, is being accused of seeking to reduce the number of disappeared persons in the country. President López Obrador has said that these accusations are false and has emphasized that his government is making progress in the cases of missing people.
"At no time we intend to discard the information from the National Registry of Missing or Unaccounted Persons or create a new one. On the contrary, we seek to verify the situation of the people reported to locate them, update incomplete records and make the system more efficient," says Encinas.
Mexico is currently experiencing a crisis of missing people, with over 112,000 individuals unaccounted for and 52,000 unidentified bodies. Criticism against President López Obrador's efforts began after the government announced it was carrying out a new census to determine the number of missing persons in the country. Human rights advocates claim that the government will provide erroneous figures as a tactic to gain sympathizers for the upcoming 2024 elections. Experts stressed that the census will be erroneous, since many disappeared people are not reported to the authorities due to lack of investigations, corruption and impunity.