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The Mexican Navy was implicated in the disappearance of 27 people in 2018 and asked to compensate the families of the victims, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) reported Tuesday.
The entity said in a note that it investigated the disappearance in Tamaulipas (north) of 27 people “arbitrarily detained and disappeared (…) by elements of the Navy”, of which 12 were found dead, and “managed to prove” their probable responsibility.
The Commission said that it requested the Navy “the integral reparation of the damage to affected complainants and immediate family members that includes compensation for the forced disappearance.”
The Navy responded on a Twitter account that accepted the request.
Of the group of disappeared persons, between March and May 2018, “12 were later found lifeless in breaches and ‘clandestine burials’, in the municipalities of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, and Anáhuac, Nuevo León,” added the CNDH.
The ombudsman also asked the federal prosecutor’s office to continue searching “exhaustively” for the 15 people still without locating and investigating the sailors identified by the victims’ families.
Raymundo Ramos, president of the Nuevo Laredo Human Rights Committee, welcomed the CNDH’s recommendation.
Government authorities of the then President Enrique Peña Nieto (2012–2018) “had denied that the Navy had participated in the events, had criminalized the victims and had attributed these disappearances to an organized crime group,” he told AFP Ramos. .
He added that the victims belong to “different social strata, there is a housewife, a baker, a minor under the age of 16 (…) and it could be thought that they were taken to obtain intelligence information.”
Tamaulipas, with coasts in the Gulf of Mexico and on the border with the United States, is one of the most violent regions in the country as it is one of the most routes for drug transfer.
The Mexican government has a record of 73,201 missing persons, the majority after a military anti-drug offensive launched in 2006.
Since the beginning of this strategy, more than 290,000 murders have been registered, according to official figures but without detailing its link to crime.