Platform on mass graves is born in Mexico due to lack of official data

Mexico City.- The Citizen Platform of Fosas, presented this Tuesday, gathers data on clandestine graves in Mexico from prosecutors and the press in view of the need of relatives and search engines of disappeared persons for reliable information that the authorities do not provide.

“Need platforms and reliable and verifiable databases, “said Leticia Hidalgo, of the United Forces for Our Disappeared in Nuevo León, at a press conference.

Hidalgo is the mother of Roy Rivera, who disappeared in 2011 in Nuevo León and whose name appears twice in the database of disappeared persons of the National Search Commission, which has collected more than 90,000 people since the records began in 1964.

The Citizen Platform of Fosas gathers documentation of the findings of clandestine graves reported by the national and local press, the state prosecutors’ offices and the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) and is created as a data gathering tool for those seeking answers to what they consider inaction of the Mexican State.

The information from the prosecutor’s offices “is not verifiable, it is not timely, it arrives too late, it is not understandable, it is not updated and it is not complete,” shared Carlos Dorantes, officer of the Right to Information Program of the NGO Article 19 in his office for Mexico and Central America.

He also detailed that, despite the fact that the war against drug trafficking started by former President Felipe Calderón (2006-2012) began more than 10 years ago, and that four years ago the General Law on Forced Disappearance was approved, “we do not count with a clear record of pits clandestine “.

FRAGMENTED INFORMATION
Dorantes presented at a virtual press conference, along with the other organizations that created the platform and relatives of disappeared persons, the most relevant data collected by the web, which “fill in the gaps” that the authorities do not fill in.

The data from the Attorney General’s Office (an institution prior to the current FGR) obtained through litigation and the data provided by the FGR do not coincide today, so the information is “fragmented.”

According to the PGR, from 2000 to February 2015, 505 pits clandestine and 2,055 bodies recovered. By the FGR, a total of 474 graves and 1,282 recovered bodies were registered from 2006 to December 2019.

Nor can they be contrasted with the data that the Ministry of the Interior publishes regularly, so that only the PGR data obtained through litigation could be included in the platform.

“We seek to fill this gap with information from an official source and press releases,” explained Dorantes.

For his part, Daniel Mata, researcher for the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, explained that information was requested from the prosecutors of the 32 states of Mexico.

Only the information from 19 states could be processed, since the rest of the responses included fragmented, disjointed and non-detailed information, he warned.

Even so, 2,357 graves and 2,693 victims were quantified. Finally, according to the compilation of press releases, 1,491 clandestine graves were reported from which 4,259 bodies of people and 47,355 remains or fragments have been exhumed.

THE PLATFORM
Adrián Lara, Data Cívica project director, explained that this difference in data collected between prosecutors and the media is reflected in the platform, which also seeks to add and contrast them through an interactive diagram.

Also, you can view specific information by state and municipality. It also contains a repository where requests for information, reports and other supporting documents are collected.

Finally, there is the option of knowing the methodology carried out to create the platform.

AN EXAMPLE FOR THE AUTHORITIES
The relatives of disappeared persons expressed during the online presentation the importance of said launch.

“I am grateful to the non-governmental organizations. If all this will that you have, the people of the Government had, there would be no need for me or other victims of the country to be acting as investigators and we would be begging for information that by right corresponds to us,” said Bibiana Mendoza , member of Until You Find You Guanajuato.

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On the other hand, Angélica Rodríguez from Returning to Casa Morelos, celebrated the creation of the platform and that “things are being done well from civil society.”

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