The Lost and Found

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Mexico will launch a new database later this month to help collect information on the tens of thousands of people that have gone missing across the country, a move that was cautiously welcomed by human rights groups, Reuters reported.

The federal prosecutor’s office said the new registry will gather information from different databases, including those that document mass graves and torture.

The database’s creation was first mandated by law in 2017 but had stalled until a judge ordered it to be implemented last October.

The ruling centered around a case brought by a woman whose brother went missing in Guanajuato state six years ago. The judge ruled that the woman’s right to truth and justice was being hindered by a lack of information.

The official number of missing people in Mexico is more than 112,000, which human rights advocates say is far too low an estimate.

Still, advocates and non-governmental organizations dedicated to searching for missing people said the government’s move was “a first step,” adding that the federal prosecutor’s office “has finally recognized its responsibility.”

Many NGOs have criticized public offices dedicated to investigating missing persons as ineffective, unresponsive, and underfunded.

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