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Mexico: UN Committee On Enforced Disappearances Condemns Violence Against Authorities Searching For Bodies

GENEVA (20 July 2023) - The UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances condemns the attack on personnel of the State Attorney General's Office and the municipal police of Tlajomulco in the state of Jalisco in central-western Mexico, which killed six people and injured at least 12 others, including government officials and civilians.

According to the information received by the Committee, the attack took place on 11 July when the authorities were on their way to a location in Tlajomulco to search for the bodies of those who had allegedly disappeared. They were ambushed by unidentified assailants with explosive devices.

“The Committee expresses its condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and wishes the injured a swift recovery,” said Carmen Rosa Villa, Chair of the Committee.

State authorities reported that more than 110,000 people had disappeared throughout Mexico, with the highest number of disappearances registered in the state of Jalisco. In a report published in 2022 following its visit to Mexico, the Committee urged the State party to guarantee the permanent protection of public servants dedicated to the search and investigation and establish a comprehensive protection programme for them. It also called on Mexico to immediately strengthen the victim protection system to guarantee the safety of family members and those accompanying them.

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In light of the recent attack, the Committee recalls that searches and investigations are permanent obligations. It urges the State party to immediately initiate a thorough and diligent investigation to identify the perpetrators and impose sanctions appropriately.

It, once again, calls upon the State party to establish adequate protection measures for victims, family members, accompanying persons, as well as public servants to guarantee the continuity of the search for the disappeared and the investigation of their disappearances, providing opportunities for participation to ensure that victims are not left without support.

The Committee reiterates its recommendation to the State to urgently adopt and implement a National Policy for the Prevention and Eradication of Disappearances.

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