Monthly Archives: November 2019

Daily World News Digest 21 November 2019

Mexico: missing activist found dead

Human rights activist Arnulfo Cerón Soriano has been found dead in the state of Guerrero in southwest Mexico, the New York Times reports. Cerón disappeared on 11 October. The mountains of Guerrero are home to poppy fields cultivated for opium, and the state has seen some of the worst violence of Mexico’s drug wars.

Major migrant rescue off Libya

Ninety-four refugees and migrants, including four pregnant women, have been rescued off the coast of Libya by a vessel operated jointly by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders, Aljazeera reports. More than 1,000 people have been feared drowned in the Mediterranean this year, according to the International Organization of Migration (IOM).

Croatia: commemoration for Vukovar victims

A commemoration was held on Wednesday for victims exhumed from a mass grave at the Ovcara farm on the outskirts of Vukovar, Croatia, where 200 wounded soldiers and civilians…

Daily World News Digest 20 November 2019

Enforced disappearances in Africa

Countries in Africa must acknowledge that enforced disappearances are happening, an article in Open Democracy argues. Noting that enforced disappearance was practiced during the colonial era “against freedom fighters and to instill blind obedience” it says the practice is being used today “to silence political opposition, activists and human rights defenders”, and cites cases in Sudan, Zimbabwe and Libya.

Mexico: more victims found at farm in Jalisco

EFE Noticias reports that human remains of at least five women and 20 men have been found on a farm in the municipality of Tlajomulco, in the western Mexican state of Jalisco. Fifty-two bags of human remains have been found at the site since early November. Six people have been identified (Original in Spanish).

Mexico: training for families of the missing

Noticieros Televisa from Mexico reports on the work of a team of forensic anthropologists that has delivered workshops…

Daily World News Digest 19 November 2019

Colombia: massacre victims identified

The Associated Press reports that individual burials witnessed by family members have taken place in the town of Bojaya in western Colombia after scientists used DNA to identify the remains of 79 victims of a 2002 massacre. The victims were initially buried in a mass grave.

Malaysia: enforced disappearance

Norhayati Mohd Ariffin has sued the Malaysian government over the disappearance of her husband, activist Amri Che Mat, three years ago, Yahoo Singapore reports. Amri was 43 when he vanished on 24 November 2016 in Kangar, in the northwest state of Perlis. Norhayati has accused the police of failing to investigate the disappearance and the government of negligence.

Syria: mass grave found near Aleppo

The Syrian Network for Human Rights reports that Civil Defense workers have found a mass grave containing the remains of six persons in the town of Turkman Bareh about 40 kilometers north…

Daily World News Digest 18 November 2019

Sri Lanka: election results and missing persons

Following the election Gotabaya Rajapaksa as President of Sri Lanka, families of missing persons from the country’s Tamil community have expressed concern, SBS News from Australia reports, amid allegations that Rajapaksa “orchestrated the disappearances of political opponents, journalists and civilians” during the country’s civil war. Gotabaya has consistently denied any knowledge or involvement in the disappearances and war crimes.

El Salvador: President urged to open records of missing persons

Relatives of people reported to have gone missing at the hands of security agencies during El Salvador’s Civil War have urged President Nayib Bukele to open the military archives, el Diario reports. Between 8,000 and 10,000 went missing during the conflict, which ended with a peace agreement in 1992 (original in Spanish).

Colombia: highest number of disappearances

A report by the NGO Human Rights Everywhere mapping enforced disappearances in 19 countries in…

Daily World News Digest 15 November 2019

Myanmar: ICC to investigate atrocities against Rohingya

The International Criminal Court has authorized an investigation into alleged crimes in Myanmar committed against the country’s Rohingya minority, such as enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions and arbitrary arrests, Amnesty International reports. Amnesty’s Director for East and Southeast Asia commented that “it remains essential that the UN Security Council refers the situation in the whole of the country to the ICC”.

Venezuela: extrajudicial killings

A special report released by Reuters documents the outcomes of a four-month investigations into extrajudicial killings conducted by Venezuelan police forces. Reuters has reviewed internal government data revealing that 5,280 people died in police hands last year, 160 percent more than in 2016.

Mexico: Mothers of Missing Migrants seek solidarity

Mothers of missing migrants from Central America have begun an annual journey through Mexico highlighting cases of migrants who went missing while crossing the country on their way…

Daily World News Digest 14 November 2019

Spain: exhumations at Civil War mausoleum

Spanish authorities will endeavor to exhume some of the thousands of Civil War victims in the Valley of the Fallen, weeks after the remains of dictator Francisco Franco were transferred, Reuters reports. A source at National Heritage, the state organization that manages the Valley of the Fallen, said they had received 31 requests for exhumations. Forensic examiners will be brought in to offer technical and legal assessments on whether the exhumations can be carried out.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: 223 new identifications this year

BHRT reports that 91 exhumations and 314 re-exhumations have been carried out this year in Bosnia and Herzegovina, resulting in the identification of 223 victims of the 1992-95 conflict. Representatives of the International Commission on Missing Persons took part in the roundtable at which the BIH Missing persons Institute announced these figures. (Original article in B/C/S).

Syria: international investigation

Syrian refugees…

Daily World News Digest 13 November 2019

Sudan: Families still wait for justice

Families of Sudanese protesters who were killed or went missing when the military cleared their protest camp in the capital Khartoum are still waiting for justice, Anadolu Agency reports. In September, Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok ordered the formation of an investigation committee into the deadly dispersal of protesters on 3 June, which left more than 100 dead. The committee has yet to announce its findings.

Mexico: Ayotzinapa families urge President to speed up investigations

Parents of the 43 missing students from Ayotzinapa who disappeared in Iguala in the Mexican state of Guerrero in September 2014 met on Monday with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Agencia EFE reports. The group indicated that it will increase its calls for action if there are no concrete results from the current investigation of the case (original in Spanish).

Colombia: 17 years after massacre families bury their loved…

Daily World News Digest 12 November 2019

Four migrants missing in the Danube

Four migrants have gone missing from a boat in the Danube River after attempting to cross into Croatia, Ansamed reports. The incident took place near Apatin, on the Danube in northern Serbia, where a stretch of the river marks the border with Croatia. Police and teams of divers are at the scene conducting searches for the missing migrants.

US: gathering DNA from detained migrants

The Hill news portal from Washington DC has published an opinion piece examining the constitutional implications of a proposal to gather DNA from all migrants detained while trying to enter the United States. The article argues that enacting a proposal that has been advanced by the US Department of Justice “presumes that all migrants are or will be criminals, rather than the ‘tired,’ ‘poor,’ and ‘yearning’ families that comprise the majority of Central American migrant families.”

The Philippines: extrajudicial…

Daily World News Digest 11 November 2019

Syria: arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances

UN monitors report that scores of civilians are being killed and wounded, and thousands are fleeing their homes as violence and human rights abuses escalate in northern and northeastern Syria, Voice of America reports. Civilians have been victims of airstrikes, ground-based strikes and summary executions and a spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for human rights says people recently displaced have been subjected to arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance after returning to their homes.

Mexico: mass grave in Sonora

The Associated Press reports that 10 more bodies have been uncovered in a mass grave near Puerto Peñasco, a seaside resort in the Mexican state of Sonora about 100 kilometers from the border with the US state of Arizona. This brings the number of bodies found at the location since the end of October to 52.

Thailand: officials to be charged with disappearance of…

Daily World News Digest 8 November 2019

ICMP donates DNA lab equipment to University of Sarajevo

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has presented Sarajevo University’s Faculty of Medicine with laboratory equipment that will increase capacity at the university’s Institute for Legal Medicine, The Sarajevo Times reports. The equipment includes a DNA sequencer, a sequencing computer, a mini centrifuge and software, and is part of ICMP’s continuing program to help institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina develop their capacity to account for missing persons.

Mexico launches missing persons registration platform

Mexico has launched an electronic platform that allows anyone to report a missing person “in a swift, transparent and trustworthy manner”, according to the Informador newspaper. Missing migrant reports can be made using the same platform, the paper says.   Alejandro Encinas, the deputy interior minister responsible for human rights, said that through this platform Mexico aims to address the UN Human Rights Committee’s recommendations to improve its…