Mexican Navy Implicated in Disappearance of 27 People

Delegates are seen prior to the vote at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 19, 2020. (Fabrice Coffrini/Pool Photo via AP)

MEXICO CITY (AFP) — The Mexican navy was implicated in the disappearance of 27 people in 2018 and was asked to compensate the families of the victims, according to the National Human Rights Commission.

The commission said Tuesday it had investigated the disappearances in the northern state of Tamaulipas of the 27 people, who were “arbitrarily detained and disappeared … by elements of the navy.”

Twelve of the missing were found dead, and it had “managed to prove” the navy’s probable responsibility in the disappearances, the commission said.

The commission said it requested the navy pay reparations to complainants and their families for the forced disappearances.

The navy responded on a Twitter account that it had accepted the request.

Of the disappeared, 12 were found dead, some in “clandestine burials,” the CNDH said.

The ombudsman asked federal prosecutors to continue searching “exhaustively” for the 15 people still missing and to investigate the sailors identified by relatives of the victims.

Raymundo Ramos, president of the Nuevo Laredo Human Rights Committee, welcomed the commission’s recommendation.

The government of then-president Enrique Peña Nieto (2012–2018) “had denied that the navy had participated in the events, had criminalized the victims and had attributed these disappearances to an organized crime group,” Ramos told Agence France-Presse.

He said the victims belonged to “different social strata: there is a housewife, a baker, a 16-year-old minor … and it could be thought that they were taken to obtain intelligence.”

Tamaulipas, which lies on the Gulf of Mexico and borders Texas, is one of the most violent regions in the country due to its location on drug trafficking routes.

The Mexican government has recorded 73,201 missing persons, most of them after a military anti-drug offensive began in 2006.

Virtually every police and military force in Mexico is believed to be riddled with corruption.

© Agence France-Presse

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