U.N. 'concerned' Mexico hasn't complied with recommendations to prevent disappearances

FILE PHOTO: The Mexican flag flutters during the National Flag Day event in Iguala, Guerrero State, Mexico February 24, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Romero

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The United Nations' committee against enforced disappearances expressed concern on Friday that the Mexican government has not adopted its recommendations aimed at preventing disappearances in the Latin American country.

"We note with concern that several of the recommendations made by the Committee to Mexico in 2015 and 2018 are still pending implementation," Carmen Villa, a member of the U.N. committee, told reporters.

She added that, during the coronavirus pandemic, there was a "notable" increase in the disappearances of children, adolescents and women in Mexico.

Among the recommendations not yet implemented, Villa said, were measures to increase the power of search commissions, combat impunity, and address the root causes of Mexico's disappearance crisis.

According to official data, there are currently 95,121 missing persons in Mexico. It is not clear how many of these cases constitute enforced disappearances, which means they were perpetrated by state authorities or groups acting with official support.

In response, the government of Mexico said there are "significant challenges" in combating enforced disappearances, and pledged to work with the committee to advance efforts to investigate cases and search for missing people.

Currently, Mexico is in second place, after Iraq, as the country with the highest number of urgent actions presented to the United Nations, a protection mechanism for cases of enforced disappearance.

(Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; writing by Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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