InSight Crime, 8/30/11
As the world marks the International Day of the Disappeared, Mexico counts more than 3,000 people who have disappeared since 2006, when President Calderon began his assault on organized crime.
Since 2006, the United Nations estimates that 3,000 people have disappeared in Mexico, a figure which includes at least 32 human rights advocates. Mexican investigative magazine Contralinea reports that there have been 300 percent more disappearances in the last four years than during the entirety of Mexico’s “Guerra Sucia” (dirty war) of the 1960s and 1970s. The country’s foremost human rights body, the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), has counted almost 5,400 cases since the election of President Felipe Calderon and his declaration of war on the country’s drug cartels in 2006.
The situation of disappearances in Mexico provoked Amnesty International (AI) research director, Javier Zuniga, to draw comparisons with Southern Cone military dictatorships of the previous century.