Daily World News Digest, 18 December 2017

Enforced disappearances cloud public security in Mexico

By the end of 2017, the Mexican government projects, more than 27,000 people will have died in violence fueled by warfare among cartels, political corruption and an increase in US demand for narcotics. On Friday, the government formalized the use of soldiers on the streets, generating an angry response from critics, who fear the move will lead to more violence and human rights abuses. Over the years, the once-revered military has seen its popularity plummet and found itself at the center of a number of human rights scandals, including extrajudicial killings of suspected gang members and the 2014 disappearance of 43 college students near an army base in Guerrero. http://bit.ly/2B65HrH

Enforced disappearance in Bangladesh

Ain O Salish Kendra, a rights group based in Dhaka, reports that 524 people have been subjected to enforced disappearance in Bangladesh between 2010 and 2017. Of these, 190 have returned or have been formally arrested, while the others have not been accounted for. The latest victim of an apparent enforced disappearance is Maruf Zaman, a former ambassador of Bangladesh to Qatar and Vietnam, which follows a series of disappearances, involving university professor Mubashar Hasan, book importer Tanvir Yasin Karim and journalist Utpal Das. http://bit.ly/2B8Sqi4

Pakistan “short-term” disappearances

Pakistan’s legal framework “has proven to be completely ineffective” in responding to cases of enforced disappearance, according to an opinion piece published in Dawn newspaper. The piece points to a proliferation in short-term disappearances, where victims are placed outside the protection of the law in secret detention before being released weeks or months later, sometimes after having been tortured and without having been brought in front of a judge. “In other cases, people are kept in secret detention outside the legal framework for some time before being handed over to the police.” http://bit.ly/2zkfQ1x

Historical mass grave found in New Zealand

The remains of 12 British soldiers who fought in New Zealand’s Northern War have been unearthed in a mass grave, 170 years after they died in battle. Archeologist Jono Carpenter said the men died on 11 January, 1846, when 1600 British soldiers battled 400 Maori fighters. Their remains were located six meters underground. Pita Tipene, a descendant of both Maori chief Kawiti, who defended the Pa, and Colonel Robert Wynyard, who commanded the British troops, noted that, “because we didn’t know where they were buried, we couldn’t give them the reverence and the respect that they deserved, so this is absolutely huge.” http://bit.ly/2B6ptDk

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.