Over 100,000 people officially missing in Mexico
UN chief calls the disappearance of over 100,000 people in Mexico "a tragedy of enormous proportions."
More than 100,000 people are now missing in Mexico's violence-torn country.
According to the National Registry of Missing Persons, which has been recording disappearances since 1964, the whereabouts of 100,012 persons remained unknown as of Monday. Approximately 75% are males.
Disappearances have increased dramatically in the aftermath of the country's 16-year-long drug war.
According to The Movement for Our Disappeared, the numbers may be even higher, urging the government to respond " in a comprehensive and immediate manner."
Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, described the numbers on Tuesday as "a tragedy of enormous proportions."
"No effort should be spared to put an end to these human rights violations and abuses of extraordinary breadth, and to vindicate victims' rights to truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition," she added.
Only 35 of the documented disappearances resulted in convictions, a "staggering rate of impunity" that is "mostly attributable to the lack of effective investigations," according to Bachelet's office.
The UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances called the disappearances "heart-breaking", adding that "we also note that, in many cases, disappearances go unreported, and thus the scale of this tragedy may even go beyond what is currently registered."
The Committee warned Mexico in April that it was facing an "alarming trend of rising enforced disappearances," adding that organized crime gangs were mostly responsible "with varying degrees of participation, acquiescence or omission by public servants."
According to the Mexican government, around 37,000 unidentified remains are being held in forensic services, however, civic organizations worry that the figure might be far higher.
The International Committee of the Red Cross called the situation "a staggering number that underscores the immediate need to strengthen prevention, search, and identification mechanisms for those who are missing and their families."
The Committee gave credit to some progress made by Mexico in some instances, like body identification and easing the suffering of family members of those deceased.
Marlene Herbig, head of the ICRC's missing persons program in Mexico, stated that "when someone disappears, their relatives have the right to know what has happened. Knowing the fate of disappeared persons is primarily a humanitarian act."