Daily World News Digest, 26 November 2015

Indigenous Canadians comprised 23% of country’s murder victims in 2014

The Guardian carried a story on 25 November saying that almost a quarter of homicide victims in Canada last year were aboriginal, even though the country’s indigenous people account for just 5% of the population, newly released federal statistics show. Twenty-three percent of the country’s 516 homicide victims in 2014 were aboriginal, making them almost six times more likely than non-indigenous Canadians to become victims of deadly violence, the federal statistics agency reported on Wednesday. The newly elected Liberal government has committed to launching a national inquiry by next summer into the nearly 1,200 indigenous women and girls who have disappeared or been murdered in the country in the past three decades. http://bit.ly/1N9qEvn

Mexico police use of excessive force led to deaths of six people

Reuters reported on 25 that Mexico’s federal police used excessive force that resulted in five deaths, and murdered one other person, in an incident earlier this year in the troubled state of Michoacan, Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) said. The Rights Commission said its investigations into the January incident, in which federal forces clashed with members of a vigilante group, found that the people were killed after federal police used excessive force. The rights body said that five of the victims were in a pick-up truck when police opened fire on them, despite the fact they were not carrying weapons and raised their arms in surrender. Ever since former Mexican President Felipe Calderon ratcheted up the war against Mexico’s drug cartels in 2007, the country’s security forces have been implicated in slew of rights abuses. Last year, 43 student teachers were apparently massacred after corrupt local police in the southwestern state of Guerrero attacked them. http://reut.rs/1Hp2cdm

Egypt to crack down on smugglers bringing migrants to Europe

International Business Times reported on 25 November that the Egypt’s government approved a draft law Wednesday aiming to crack down on illegal migration and impose harsh fines and sentences to those caught smuggling people out of the country illegally. Another of the law’s articles imposes hard labor sentences and fines for anyone convicted of starting, managing, holding a position in or being a member of an organized group that smuggles migrants out of the country illegally. Thousands of Egyptians have tried to flee the country in recent years in search of better job opportunities, but hundreds have been arrested after crossing the Mediterranean Sea and reaching Italy or Greece. In 2015, more than 250,000 migrants from Middle Eastern and African countries have attempted the dangerous sea voyage from shores in North African countries en route to Europe. The trips, organized by smugglers, have resulted in thousands of deaths at sea. http://bit.ly/1IiPqIi

The Taken: Canada’s latest known serial killer preyed on indigenous women

The Globe and Mail, a daily from Canada carried a story on 25 November about Jennifer McPherson, an indigenous woman that went missing in British Columbia on 29 April, 2013. In a bulletin which RCMP published seeking the public’s help in finding the 41-year-old, it said she was Caucasian. Her loved ones found themselves confronted with an emotional conundrum at an agonizing time: Should they correct the record? After some deliberation, the family made the painful decision to hide Ms. McPherson’s identity and let law enforcement and the public believe she was Caucasian. On the evening of 6 May, her husband, Traigo Andretti, met with a detective and confessed to a pair of gruesome crimes, including a murder of another woman, who disappeared in 2006. Mr. Andretti is Canada’s latest known serial killer, his case underscoring The Globe’s recent finding that indigenous women are roughly seven times more likely to be slain by serial killers than non-indigenous women. http://bit.ly/1NuTk8J

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.