Daily World News Digest, 21 November 2017

As Mladic awaits verdict, Bosnians still search for loved ones

On Wednesday, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) will hand down a verdict in the case of Ratko Mladic. Prosecutors say Mladic played a pivotal role in a ruthless campaign of ethnic cleansing during the 1992-95 conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In total, the Bosnian conflict left some 100,000 people dead and around 7,000 of them are still missing. The effort to find their bodies is hampered by the fact that the killers scattered the remains. A laboratory set up in 1996 by the International Commission on Missing Persons has succeeded in identifying 70 percent of the 40,000 missing from the 1990s Balkan conflicts. More than three-quarters of those who disappeared were from Bosnia. http://bit.ly/2Aj3CYF

 Why do so many Indian children go missing?

According to India’s Ministry of Women and Child Development, 242,938 children disappeared between 2012 and 2017. But according to TrackChild, a government database, nearly that many children – 237,040 – went missing between 2012 and 2014 alone. Activists for children’s rights, who say that under-registration — as well as underreporting — of missing children is a chronic problem, estimate that the real numbers are much higher. According to Bhuwan Ribhu, a lawyer with Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood), an anti-trafficking organization, the figure may reach 500,000 a year. http://nyti.ms/2iC1Yqm 

Mexico, Vera Cruz: “the entire state is a mass grave”

Officially, the Mexican government acknowledges the disappearances of more than 30,000 people, but the truth is no one knows how many people are missing. When the new governor of Veracruz began his term last December, the state’s official figure for the number of missing was in the low hundreds. Upon the most basic review, the governor revised it – to nearly 2,600. In the last year alone, the remains of nearly 300 bodies have been unearthed from clandestine graves in Veracruz. “The entire state is a mass grave,” the attorney general said. http://nyti.ms/2A0p5lS

Bangladesh: information sought on missing journalist

An opposition MP has called on the government to provide information on the disappearance of journalist Utpal Das. Jatiya Party MP Peer Fazlur Rahman told parliament in Dhaka this week that ten people have gone missing in the past two months. “One of them is journalist Utpal Das, who has been missing over a month. It is the duty of the state to find out if anyone goes missing. It is not believable that the law enforcement agencies cannot recover him yet.” http://bit.ly/2AZ1LnW 

Iraqi forces find mass graves in oil wells near Kirkuk

Iraq’s security forces have found mass graves inside oil wells in an area in northeastern Iraq close to the oil-rich Kirkuk, and they believe the bodies are of civilians executed by Da’esh, a security source told local media on Monday. Iraq will now collect DNA samples to identify the victims, the security source told The Baghdad Post. A week ago, Iraqi authorities said that mass graves full of bodies of civilians executed by Da’esh Islamic were found in the province of Kirkuk. http://bit.ly/2AY2R3l

Argentina mourns death of Marta Vázquez

The death of the President of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo Linea Fundadora, Marta Vázquez, was announced on 19 November by the head of the Peace and Justice Service, Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, who described Marta as a “tireless human rights activist”. Vázquez passed away at 90 years of age after being hospitalized the previous week due to failing health. The activist struggled to find the whereabouts of her daughter and grandchild after the young woman (who was pregnant at the time) was disappeared during the country’s military dictatorship, from 1974-1983. http://bit.ly/2z84uev 

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.