Mexico Will Create A Forensic Institute In Sonora

By Kendal Blust
Published: Monday, July 1, 2019 - 8:51am
Updated: Monday, July 1, 2019 - 10:50am

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Alejandro Encinas Rodríguez, Subsecretaría de Derechos Humanos, Población y Migración
Gobierno de México
Alejandro Encinas Rodríguez.

Mexican authorities announced Monday they are creating a regional forensic institute in neighboring Sonora, Mexico, to address a growing problem with unidentified bodies in the country.

Speaking to families with disappeared loved ones, Mexico’s undersecretary of human rights, population and migration said Sonora is one of five Mexican states that will house a new regional forensic institute.

"We want bodies to be treated with dignity," said Undersecretary Alejandro Encinas Rodríguez. "We want to guarantee their right to an identity; guarantee the right of the families of people who have unfortunately disappeared and died,  that they will be returned to their families, to their homes; and that they will have a dignified burial and rest in peace."

He said the new forensic facilities are part of a plan to address a crisis of unidentified bodies in Mexico. There are currently more than 8,000 unidentified bodies in custody of Mexican forensic services, and many other disappeared people who have yet to be found.

"We not only have ... to guarantee an adequate search that will allow us to find many of these disappeared people," he said. "But fundamentally, we have to guarantee that they will be identified."

Mexico will spend 40 million pesos, or about $2 million, to build the Sonoran forensic institute, which will also serve neighboring Baja California, Baja California Sur and Sinaloa.

In total, Encinas said, Mexico will spend more than 410 million pesos or $21 million, to improve forensic services to identify the dead, which will include providing training and resources to forensic experts, creating a nationwide forensic database and building 15 new cemeteries for unidentified bodies.

Of that money, 230 million pesos, or approximately $12 million, will go toward the five regional forensic institutes, he said. In addition to Sonora, the forensic centers will be built in Coahuila, Nueva Leon, Veracruz and the state of Mexico.

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