Daily World News Digest, 13 February 2017

Mexico rejects findings against investigators of missing students

The New York Times reported on Saturday that the final version of an internal review by the Mexican government into the conduct of investigators searching for 43 missing students has rejected an earlier report that found that the officials’ mishandling of suspects and evidence broke the law. The original review described such serious wrongdoing, beginning with the illegal arrest of key suspects, that it threatened the foundations of the government’s legal case. The new review, led by a different official, wiped clean the most damning of those violations, leaving the government’s version of the case intact.

The investigators’ actions amounted only to technical violations, according to the new report, which was prepared by the inspector general of the attorney general’s office and given to the students’ families Thursday. The final report is “a clear example that they are covering up and diluting” investigators’ responsibilities, said Mario Patrón, director of the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center in Mexico City and the families’ legal representative. http://nyti.ms/2lHeQM2

Sri Lanka: families of the disappeared dismiss government offer

 The Tamil Guardian reported yesterday that family members of disappeared Tamils have rejected the government’s offer to set up a special inquiry to investigate the fate of just their missing relatives, rather than providing an acceptable solution to the 32,000 missing. “We came to get collective justice for thousands of our people who have gone missing, not only for our sake,” said one family member. Representatives attending the meeting in Colombo were family members of the disappeared who ended a four-day hunger strike after they were given an assurance by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that he would meet them with the Attorney General to help find the thousands of missing. In addition, family members said during a press conference that there concerns were not just about their 14-15 cases, but that they are fighting in regard to the widespread problems of disappearances and ongoing detention of political prisoners. http://bit.ly/2kiL4QG 

Over 300 persons missing in central Nigeria 

The Nigerian Tribune reported yesterday that communal clashes in some communities in Benue State in central Nigeria have led to over 300 persons reportedly missing in the Agatu district. Communal clashes between Egba and Ochologba communities in the area have led to the reported mysterious disappearance of hundreds of people in the last nine years. The district administrator confirmed that a farmer had been kidnapped on Friday. He said none of the 300 persons who have mysteriously disappeared from both communities has been found, dead or alive. http://bit.ly/2lazPcm

“Alarmingly high” increase in number of South Koreans abducted by Pyongyang

First Post, an Indian online newspaper, reported on 11 February that the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) has said that its search list for South Koreans believed to have been abducted by North Korea is growing. At a press conference in Seoul on Friday the WGEID said North Korea is “steadfastly unresponsive” to requests for information. As of last year, the WGEID had reviewed 53 cases of South Koreans suspected of being taken by North Korea during and after the Korean War (1950-53). Since that report, there has been an “alarmingly high” increase in the number of such missing South Korean cases whose fates were unknown, WGEID chair Houria Es-Slami said. http://bit.ly/2kYYNcx

Cyprus tests to see if remains of missing were misidentified

ABC News reported on 11 February that a committee uncovering the fate of hundreds of missing Greek and Turkish Cypriots said Saturday that it is examining whether past DNA tests on unearthed remains were incorrect, resulting in individuals being misidentified. The Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus said the review was prompted after a DNA analysis carried out on remains exhumed in 2015 showed that they belonged to a person whose family had instead received another set of misidentified remains in 2009. The CMP said the erroneous test was carried out by the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics (CING), while the analysis that discovered the mistake was conducted by the US-based laboratory Bode Cellmark Forensics. http://bit.ly/2kJz74R

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.