Daily World News Digest, 9 February 2015


Independent Argentine panel criticizes Mexican probe of missing students

The Wall Street Journal reported on 8 February that the independent Argentine forensic team investigating the disappearance and presumed killing of 43 students in the Mexican state of Guerrero in September has identified irregularities in the investigation of the case by the Mexican authorities. The Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, brought in by the parents of the students to verify the government’s investigation, released its report late Saturday, concluding that the government seemed to be trying to make the physical evidence fit the testimony of alleged participants in the killing of the students and the burning of their bodies. http://on.wsj.com/1uuBfOR

150 people reported disappeared in Piedras Negras, Mexico

The Telesur network from Venezuela reported on 7 February that in the last 18 months more than 150 people have been reported as missing in the small city of Piedras Negras in the northern border Mexican state of Coahuila. At least 60 of these disappearances have been attributed to elite police forces, according to a lawyer overseeing the cases. Families of victims and their lawyers accused the state government of creating special forces that have carried out arbitrary detentions, tortures and enforced disappearances across Coahuila during the last six years. http://bit.ly/1vzPSBn

More time for Sri Lanka Commission on Missing Persons

The Sri Lankan Sunday Leader reported on 8 February that the mandate of the Presidential Commission to Investigate Missing Persons has been extended till August 15, 2015. The Commission, which has been criticised for being dependent on the Office of the President and lacking resources to carry out effective independent investigations, was established to address the grievances of the families of the disappeared; its mandate was subsequently expanded to investigate issues related to war time violations of International law. http://bit.ly/1uuBlGb

Bangladesh: end deadly cycle of crimes

Human Rights Watch issued a statement on 6 February stressing that violent crimes committed by some members of the opposition in Bangladesh “cannot justify killings, injuries, and wrongful arrests by the government.” It called on the authorities to avoid “arbitrary use of force, arrests, and disappearances.” Over the past month, nearly 60 people have been killed, hundreds injured, and thousands arrested across the country. All political leaders should give clear statements that their supporters should not use unlawful violence, HRW said. http://bit.ly/1A4LhZw

Pakistan Supreme Court to review major missing persons case

The Nation newspaper in Pakistan reported on 7 February that the Supreme Court has agreed to review a case first brought before it in 2007, involving 240 missing persons. The review was sought by Pakistan’s Human Rights Commission (HRCP) after the Supreme Court had earlier dismissed the case. Among other things, the HRCP noted that in the last six years, hearings before the Supreme Court have resulted in a number of disappeared persons being produced in the court, where they had given statements regarding their illegal abduction and confinement and made allegations against the security forces. http://bit.ly/1FoWym6

Next-Gen sequencing maps “highly degraded” DNA

BioScience Technology, an online bioscience journal, published an article on 6 February on next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, which can now profile severely damaged DNA samples that contain 75 percent less base-pair information, compared with previous systems.  NGS technology can be critically important in cases concerning missing persons or unidentifiable human remains and in mass disaster situations. http://bit.ly/1vzQ1Vs

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.