On Tuesday, Feb. 4, the Mexican senate withdrew Mexico’s reservation to the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons that allowed military authorities to investigate and punish the crime of enforced disappearance. Conservative President Enrique Peña Nieto, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), requested that the senate abolish the reservation in October, as part of Mexico’s commitments to comply with the Inter-American Court ruling.
While other countries like Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala and Uruguay have made progress with holding trials of cases of forced disappearances, these crimes have remained completely unpunished in Mexico. Forced disappearances have multiplied in recent years as paramilitary militias, drug cartels and human traffickers have become involved in the crime. According to some estimates, there may be 30,000 victims or more.