Tuesday, May 28, 2013

México: Federal Missing Persons Unit Created, Readers Should Not Expect Immediate Results

According to EFE, the federal government in Mexico City announced on Monday (May 27) the establishment of a Missing Persons Search Unit aimed at ending the “bureaucratic labyrinth” facing thousands of citizens in the search for their loves ones.

Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam said that the creation of the unit seeks to provide continuity to the investigation of missing persons cases and answers regarding the whereabouts of the 26,121 people who have disappeared in México.

It is unknown as to whether the 26,121 includes non-Mexicans.

COMMENT: The unit will initially be staffed with twelve officers from the Federal Public Ministry, although it is uncertain whether the twelve officers will all be based in Mexico City, which defeats a more rational approach of having each state propose a competent and honest investigator with experience in missing persons from each of the 32 states, including the DF.

Representatives from the states is critical in that they know the local culture, laws, terrain and have trusted contacts they can reach out to.

Unfortunately, the database that the Federal Public Ministry will rely on is controlled by the Interior Ministry, which will no doubt further complicate a determination of what happened to 26,121 people.

One missing persons case in particular that may fall outside the realm of missing Mexicans is the disappearance of Canadian citizen Trevor Roseborough, 53, who lived on a boat near Puerto Vallarta, but hasn’t been heard from in over 16 months.  

According to THE PROVINCE, Roseborough settled in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, on the Bahia de Banderas, near Puerto Vallarta, roughly two years ago to live a life in the sun. When family and friends stopped hearing from him, they contacted authorities in both México and Canada who determined that Roseborough has not used his bank account or email since January 2012. 

If anyone has seen Roseborough or has any information of his whereabouts, contact RCMP Cpl. Sue Tupper at 604-969-7568, email: nvcoldcase@rcmp-grc.gc.ca or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

Additionally, it is estimated that as many as 80 US citizens have also disappeared in México in recent years.

It is essential that any foreigner traveling to México ensure that family and friends have a copy of their planned schedule, including the phone numbers of where in México they will be staying.

With only 12 officers assigned to the missing persons unit, seeking to close 26,121 missing person cases, it is very doubtful that we will see any real success from the newly created unit.