ICMP’s Experience & Resources Can Support Mexico In Establishing an Effective Missing Persons Process

The Hague, 15 April 2019: ICMP is working with partners from the state of Nuevo Leon in northern Mexico to develop an effective missing persons process that could in future serve as a model for other Mexican states.

Under a project launched in December last year and supported by USAID, ICMP is working with Citizens in Support of Human Rights (CADHAC), an NGO in Nuevo Leon, to support a process that brings domestic authorities together with families of the missing in a way that builds trust, facilitates information sharing, and sustains an effective effort to account for the missing. ICMP is assisting the Prosecutor’s Office with database technology and Science & Technology expertise.

Nuevo Leon Prosecutor General Gustavo Adolfo Guerrero Gutierrez, CADHAC Executive Director Sister Consuelo Morales, and Bárbara Pérez-Martínez from USAID Mexico, along with colleagues from the prosecutor’s office and CADHAC, have completed an intensive series of meetings at ICMP Headquarters in The Hague to chart a comprehensive strategy for the four-year project.

“We are launching a new phase in Nuevo Leon whereby we recognize the State´s responsibility to conduct effective investigations that result in finding missing persons and in ensuring justice for victims,” Prosecutor Guerrero Gutierrez said today. “We are willing to develop new ways of working because we recognize that we need to ensure the sustainability of our efforts for a complex problem while providing certainty and results to the families.”

“CADHAC has worked with ICMP for almost five years, and through this project we are developing our partnership further,” Sister Consuelo said. “In 2009 CADHAC received the first family reporting a case of disappearances and since 2011 we have worked in a coordinated manner with authorities and families to ensure an effective response. Our role is to be a bridge between a committed Prosecutor General and a specialized organization with a successful track record that will transfer capacities to Mexico with the highest international standards. We will work in the coming years with ICMP on this priority, promoting a process where the State acts with efficiency, impartiality and transparency.”

ICMP Director-General Kathryne Bomberger said a key element in the project is to ensure that the authorities have the institutional and technical expertise and resources they need. “ICMP’s mandate is to assist governments that are seeking to address the challenge of large numbers of missing persons,” she said. “We are working with CADHAC to support the efforts of the Prosecutor General in Nuevo Leon and we believe that a successful effort in this state could serve as a useful model for the rest of Mexico.”

“ICMP will support the state of Nuevo Leon in a manner that complies with the General Law on Missing Persons and the procedures and guidelines of the National Search Commission,” Ms Bomberger said. “Our priority is to transfer experience and resources to help the Mexican authorities launch a sustainable and effective missing persons process.”

ICMP has been working with CADHAC since 2014, assisting efforts by family groups and other NGOs to collect data related to missing persons.

ICMP is a treaty-based international organization with Headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands. Its mandate is to secure the cooperation of governments and others in locating and identifying missing persons from conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime, irregular migration and other causes and to assist them in doing so. It is the only international organization tasked exclusively to work on the issue of missing persons.