Daily World News Digest, 28 December 2015

Argentine activist must continue search for missing granddaughter after case of mistaken identity

New York Daily News reported on 27 December that a 92-year-old Argentine activist must continue her search that’s lasted 39 years after DNA tests showed that a woman who said she was her missing granddaughter was not who she claimed to be. María Isabel (Chicha) Chorobik de Mariani’s granddaughter, Clara Anahí Mariani Terrugi, was taken away in 1976 when a military junta dominated the country. An announcement on Thursday claimed Terrugi was found. However, two days after the joyous announcement, Pablo Parenti – head of the Attorney General’s Unit for Cases of Child Appropriation – said “there is no genetic match” between the two women.. In 2003, the National Commission of the Disappearance of Persons listed the official number of missing people at 13,000. http://nydn.us/1kmDE9X

Cameroon: Authorities must come clean over fate of 130 people ‘’disappeared’’ a year ago

Amnesty International UK issued a statement on 27 December saying that the authorities in Cameroon must come clean over the fate of 130 people rounded up and detained by Cameroonian forces a year ago following security operations against Boko Haram. On 27 December 2014, more than 200 boys and men were arrested by security forces in the villages of Magdeme and Doublé. The government claims that 70 suspected Boko Haram members were arrested and that 25 of them had died that night in custody. However, the whereabouts of at least 130 remaining people are still unknown. Amnesty is calling on the authorities to conduct prompt, independent and impartial investigations. http://bit.ly/1NSxtCY

It’s just another day in paradise, while millions of others are looking for their missing ones

Zimbabwe Daily carried a story on 26 December saying that as the nation and the rest of the world soak in year-end festivities, the father of a missing person has asked Zimbabweans to spare a thought for those that are searching for family members who have disappeared. Mr William Muzenda’s daughter Catherine Judith Muzenda has been missing since 2001. Their daughter went missing on her way to Harare. In the past three months, the family has been placing weekly advertisements in the local Press, pleading with anyone who might be aware of her whereabouts to come forward. Catherine is just one of the many missing persons in Zimbabwe. Sadly, the majority of the missing people do not feature on any international missing persons list. http://bit.ly/1mJV9CV

UN discovery of secret detention center in Sri Lanka revives nightmares

Truth-out, a news portal from the US, carried a story on 27 December saying that details of a secret detention center, where serious human rights abuses took place, deep inside the sprawling Tricomalee Naval base in the east of Sri Lanka are slowly emerging. Many of those held were either members or were connected to the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Many faced torture at the site and none of the detainees had access to lawyers, human rights groups or the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The detainees interviewed were released to a rehabilitation site only after their relatives had paid large sums of money as a bribe or ransom. http://bit.ly/1UdmGaeB

The big issue: Disappearances in Thailand

Bangkok Post carried a story on 27 December saying that on 12 March, 2004 five policemen pulled Somchai Neelapaijit from his car in Bangkok, and he never was seen in public since. On 17 April, 2014, the chief of the Kaeng Krachan National Park detained Porlajee “Billy” Rakchongcharoen, and he was never seen in public again. These are just the best-known people who have been disappeared in recent years. In addition to the outright cases of the disappeared, there are dozens, maybe hundreds of cases where security forces abduct people and return them later — but facing false charges. The problem is that against powerful security offices, there is no one to speak on behalf of the silenced, abducted and the disappeared. However, the Supreme Court is about to announce a decision that could allow third, closely related person or family to act on behalf of the missing person and protect the person’s rights. http://bit.ly/1mdQiKe

Ayotzinapa families march marking 15 months since disappearance of 43 students

Telesur news portal reported on 26 December that hundreds of people joined the parents of the 43 Ayotzinapa students, who organized a peaceful demonstration in Mexico City on Saturday to mark 15 months since their children were forcibly disappeared in the southern state of Guerrero.  Meliton Ortega, the representative of the Ayotzinapa teachers training college, told the press they demand that the government to secure the safe return of their beloved ones. Meanwhile Mexico’s 27th Infantry Battalion — the army group implicated in the disappearances of the 43 Ayotzinapa students last September — has finally agreed to speak with legislators after more than a year of resistance. http://bit.ly/1Vm3ata

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.