Mexico special police unit to search for missing

AP News
Posted: May 27, 2013 8:07 PM

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico has created a special investigative unit to search for missing people and it is already working on locating them, authorities said Monday.

Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said the unit includes 12 federal investigators and a group of federal police agents as support. The unit will be part of the Attorney General's Office, he said.

"We don't do magic but we will exhaust all options and speak with the absolute truth about the chances of seeing results," Murillo Karam said, adding that authorities will work with relatives of the missing, many of whom have done their own investigations.

Murillo Karam, who was accompanied by Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, made the announcement at a news conference.

"There is no justice in this country!" some women in the audience shouted at the end of news conference. "We do a better job than them!"

Disappearances have become a sensitive issue in Mexico, where thousands of families have reported to authorities a family member was kidnapped by drug trafficking groups or law enforcement officials. Very few of the missing have been located.

Authorities said last week that they are working on creating a single database of the missing and that the number of disappeared could be a lot less than the 26,121 included in a list put together by the prior administration and made public earlier this year.

Murillo Karam said the new unit will help the families of the missing avoid the bureaucratic "maze" they currently have to navigate while seeking help from authorities. He added that the unit will guarantee that the same investigators and forensic experts remain on cases until they are solved.

Beatriz Mejia, whose 21-year-old daughter disappeared in 2011 in the state of Mexico, was one of the mothers who stood up to demand authorities investigate.

"All this they did right now was a smoke screen," Mejia said.

The 49-year-old woman said she went to state and federal authorities after her daughter went missing but authorities didn't investigate.

For months, she conducted her own investigation and found that two men had kidnapped her from a bar. She even located one of them in western Mexico, and told authorities.

"I started searching day, evening and night ... gave them the information," she said. "But they did nothing."

Mejia finally tracked down her daughter's body to a pauper's grave in the city of Tlalnepantla near Mexico City and is trying to get it returned to her.