Yearly Archives: 2019

Daily World News Digest 22 November 2019

Argentina: new light on 1976-83 disappearances

The Nation newspaper from the United States reports on the release of 47,000 pages of classified US documents that shed light on the “infrastructure of repression” in Argentina from 1976 to 1983, Argentina’s role in Operation Condor and “most important, the fate of hundreds of desaparecidos who were kidnapped, tortured, and murdered”.

Egypt: “systematic” enforced disappearances

Amnesty International reports that authorities in Egypt are “systematically using arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances to silence any dissent and create an atmosphere of fear”. It says the Shehab Center for Human Rights recently reported more than 6,421 cases of enforced disappearance in Egypt during the period from 2013 to 2018.

Mexico: exhumations at mass grave in Coahuila

Noticieros Televisa from Mexico reports on the exhumation of 47 sets of human remains being carried out by a team of 45 forensic experts at a mass grave in Saltillo in the…

ICMP and INTERPOL Convene Expert Meeting On DNA Analysis and Missing Migrants

The Hague 21 November 2019 – The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) have jointly organized the second meeting of DNA experts on DNA analysis of missing migrants and unidentified human remains. The meeting was held today at ICMP Headquarters in The Hague, The Netherlands.

ICMP Director of Policy and Cooperation Andreas Kleiser and INTERPOL DNA Unit Coordinator Susan Hitchin opened the meeting with an overview of key issues related to identifying missing migrants. ICMP Director of Science and Technology Thomas Parsons and ICMP Missing Migrants Program Manager Alessandra La Vaccara presented ICMP’s work in this field.

Tina Hu from INTERPOL’s Vulnerable Communities sub-directorate, and INTERPOL DNA Consultant Andrea Fischer spoke about Project Flyway and its DNA component. Project Flyway was launched in 2017 to combat migrant smuggling, human trafficking, and crimes against children, focusing on North Africa. The meeting examined how experts participating…

Czech Republic Continues Its Support for ICMP


The Hague, 21 November: The Czech Republic’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E. Ms. Kateřina Sequensová, visited the Headquarters of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in The Hague this week.

“The Czech Republic has been supporting ICMP for many years, and we are committed to continuing this relationship,” Ambassador Sequensová said after presenting ICMP with a grant. The Czech Republic, which has Observer status in ICMP’s Conference of State Parties, has provided ICMP with more than 150,000 Euros since 2008.

ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger thanked Ambassador Sequensová and said that Czech support has enabled ICMP to work effectively with governments in different parts of the world to address the challenge of missing persons.

“Large numbers of missing from conflict or major disasters make it very hard for countries to recover,” Director-General Bomberger said. “If authorities are unable or unwilling to account for the missing, the public credibility of…

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…