Daily World News Digest, 1 December 2015

Argentina Plaza de Mayo grandmothers find child 119

The BBC carried a story today saying that Argentine campaign group Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo have found the son of a woman who was held captive by the military junta in the 1970s and 80s. The man, Mario Bravo, was taken from his mother as an infant while she was in jail and given to military government supporters to bring up. Unusually, his mother was not executed but was released and is still alive. Mario is the 119th child to be found by the Grandmothers. They have worked for decades to reunite families with missing children, stolen by the junta. Mr Bravo had a DNA test done in 2007 and his DNA was compared with a bank of genetic samples collected by the Grandmothers from families searching for their children. http://bbc.in/1XDyC5M

Cyprus: CMP ready to dig in military zones in north

In-Cyprus news portal reported on 30 November that there are no missing persons outside the island, according to Turkish Cypriot Missing Persons Committee member, Gülden Plümer Küçük, who says excavations inside Turkish military zones on the island are set to begin in early 2016. “Based on information we have collected regarding missing persons, they are all located on the island. There are no missing persons outside the island,” Küçük said. Out of 2001 missing persons, 1020 have been located up to date but only 614 have been identified, she added. “There were difficulties in some cases to identify victims due to the condition of the remains or lack of DNA samples from families” Küçük said. Earlier this month, the Turkish army formally agreed to allow access to CMP teams for excavations in search of missing persons in Cyprus inside military zones in the north. http://bit.ly/1RizkWv

Inside the Colombia Peace Deal

CounterPunch, a monthly magazine from the US, published an interview with one of the members of FARC guerilla organization, ‘’Alexandra’’, who was chosen as one of the press representatives for the FARC at the Peace Talks which have been going on in Havana for the last two years. She said that at this moment, three partial agreements have been made, on comprehensive rural development, political participation and the illicit use of drugs. The victims and end of conflict, are being discussed at the moment. Within the context of the conflict, there are 45,000 missing persons. An agreement has been made for the immediate search, location and delivery of the remains of missing persons to their families. Another agreement has been made for after the signing of a final agreement to create a special Search Unit for missing persons. She added that the principle behind the agreement is that “more truth should lead to more restorative justice, while less truth leads to more retributive justice”. http://bit.ly/21r0tLj

Boko Haram abducts more teenage girls in recent Nigeria attack

The Global Post carried a story on 30 November saying that more teenage girls were abducted in the latest attack by Boko Haram militants who stormed a village in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno, security sources and residents told on Monday. An unspecified number of teenage girls were taken away early Sunday in Bam Village, located about 170 km south of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, after razing buildings and killing at least seven persons, an unnamed security officer said. Borno State police spokesman Victor Ikuku said information about the abduction had not reached his office. Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to bring back the missing girls, although there are fears that some of them might have been taken across borders or married off by their abductors. http://bit.ly/1XDGm7P

Mexico tests DNA of burned bodies as fears for Australian surfers grow

The Guardian reported on 30 November that investigators searching for two Australian surfers who went missing in Mexico are carrying out DNA tests on two charred bodies found in a region notorious for drug-trafficking. Dean Lucas and Adam Coleman were on a road trip from Edmonton in Canada to the city of Guadalajara in Mexico but failed to appear as planned on 21 November. Prosecutors in the northern state of Sinaloa said on Monday that they had begun DNA tests on the bodies, which were found in the burnt-out wreckage of their van in Sinaloa. Sinaloa has long been the stronghold of the Sinaloa cartel, led by fugitive Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán who escaped from a high-security prison in July. http://bit.ly/1TppJfE

Unidentified gunmen abduct 50 from villages in Myanmar’s Shan state

Radio Free Asia reported on 30 November that unidentified gunmen have abducted 50 men from four villages in Myanmar located outside of Shan state’s largest township of Lashio, residents said Monday, amid concerns by rights groups over “war crimes” committed by government troops in the region. Men were abducted from villages in another town, Kaungkha. The road between two towns has seen frequent clashes between Myanmar’s military and the ethnic Shan State Army-North (SSA-N) in recent weeks. The SSA-N was one of several armed ethnic groups that refused to enter into a so-called “nationwide cease-fire agreement” (NCA) that the government signed with eight rebel armies on 15 October. On the same day as the abductions in Shan state, a group of ethnic Shan civil society organizations called on the international community to “break its silence on the war crimes” committed by Myanmar government troops in central Shan state. http://bit.ly/1XuazLR

Items in Daily World News Digest are summaries of published reports relevant to the issue of missing persons, compiled by ICMP staff.  These items do not necessarily reflect the position of ICMP.