Some Mexican bureaucrats are so frustrated with their government’s apparent lack of transparency and failure to investigate missing persons cases in the country that they’ve leaked a list from the attorney general with details of over 25,000 missing adults and children over the past six years. Yes, 25,000.
As Mexican President Felipe Calderón prepares to leave office at the end of his six-year term on Saturday, the number appears to be a referendum for critics on his administration’s U.S.-backed war on drug trafficking amidst skyrocketing violence in the country. Calderón has defended his legacy on his way out the door, saying that the war was necessary, as CNN explains.
Here’s the Washington Post with more on the list:
The names on the list—many more than in previous, nongovernment estimates—are recorded in Microsoft Excel columns, along with the dates they disappeared, their ages, the clothes they were wearing, their jobs and a few brief, often chilling, details: “His wife went to buy medicine and disappeared,” reads one typical entry.
As the Post explains, the list is probably imprecise. In a country where only 8 percent of crimes are reported and one percent are investigated, it’s likely that some missing persons have returned home, while others were never reported in the first place. But despite its imprecision, the leaked list seems to confirm that the government has been less than forthcoming about the toll of the war on drugs.
Earlier in November, the Mexican National Human Rights Commission (a government entity that functions similarly to an ombudsman) released figures showing 2,126 “forced disappearances” and 46,015 murders linked to the crime wave, as Fox News Latino reported. Some, as reported by TruthOut, put the number of dead as high as 120,000.