Mexican legislators approve creation of search and identification agency
As Mexico confronts what has been called a crisis of disappearances across the country, the lower house of Congress this week unanimously approved a measure to create a new agency to search for and identify the missing.
The National Center for Human Identification is meant to both search for those who have disappeared and help authorities properly handle and identify human remains.
Across Mexico, there are more than 99,000 people reported missing, and more than 52,000 remains that have not been identified.
Nelly Carrasco, head of the human rights commission in Mexico’s lower house of Congress, said the ongoing forensic crisis is well known across the country.
The new agency will not replace state-run search and identification efforts but provide technology and expertise to assist officials and support families.
While more than 70% of unidentified bodies are in just six of Mexico’s 32 states, Carrasco said nearly every state is well below the needed forensic capacity to address the backlog.
The creation of the center must now be approved by the Senate.