Mexico in spotlight as enforced disappearances hearings begin

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A view of the Palais des Nations with the Manship Sphere in the foreground. UN Photo/P Klee

Mexico's human rights record is under the spotlight as the country presents its long-awaited report on enforced disappearances to the UN.

The dossier has been more than two years in the making but the issue has sparked renewed international interest after 43 students were kidnapped in the state of Guerrero and reportedly killed last September.

Daniel Johnson reports.

Mexican authorities say not enough has begun to track down the country's "disappeared" at a high-profile UN human rights hearing on Monday.

"There are real disappeared persons; mothers, daughters, husbands and wives who have life projects that have been destroyed…"

Ms Eliana Garcia, from the office of Mexico's Attorney General, presenting her country's report to the UN human rights watchdog's Committee on Enforced Disappearances.

The country faces renewed pressure to address the issue after six people died and 43 students disappeared from the municipality of Iguala last September, reportedly in operations involving police officers.

Plans are under way to create a missing persons "blueprint", Ms Garcia said, though much more needs to be done before a reliable register is available for the whole country.

Those comments were echoed by human rights expert Rainer Huhle at the hearing in Geneva who said there appeared to be "no data" on the number of disappeared people in Mexico.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations. 

Duration: 1"03

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