Since 2007, a total of 855 illegal mass graves were found across Mexico according to the official estimate, while a staggering 30 thousand people were reported disappeared, according to a report by the National Commission of Human Rights.
“Despite this alarming estimate, Mexico has still not realized how serious the situation of disappearances was,” said CNDH state official Ismael Eslava, adding that over 80 percent of the cases were concentrated in 11 out of the 31 states in the country: Guerrero, Nuevo Leon, Veracruz, Zacatecas, Coahuila, Colima, San Luis Potosi, Durango, Jalisco and Sonora.
Most of them are related to confrontations between rival drug cartels, sometimes with the support of authorities, said the report, which based its conclusions on over 500 requests before state and federal courts to find their relatives.
Collectives of relatives have welcomed the report as an improvement on the usual work of the CNDH, often criticized for reluctantly investigating the cases of disappearances or human rights abuses, especially when they involve local or federal authorities.
The relatives of the victims complained that they have to carry out the search themselves for their loved ones, as the state fails to guarantee justice. However, running such investigations usually exposes them to death threats and other risks.