Mexico to create database of mass graves

Mexico announced Tuesday that it would create a database of all mass graves discovered in recent years, as the country is experiencing a wave of narcotics-related violence.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office in December, said clandestine graves, dug by criminal groups, had multiplied during this period "very sad for Mexico".

He criticized his predecessors for this "legacy", particularly as a result of the military offensive against narco-trafficking launched in 2006 by the Mexican government, which was accompanied by a spiral of violence across the country.

"We have to inform the public about these clandestine graves, and even if it's painful, we need to know what really happened and what, unfortunately, continues to happen," he said at his conference. daily press at the National Palace in Mexico City.

Deputy Minister of the Interior Alejandro Encinas said the database would identify mass graves discovered over the last 20 years.

Until now, there was only one register of the National Commission for Human Rights, which had identified 855 mass graves containing 1,548 corpses between 2007 and 2016.

But independent research suggests that they are much more numerous, admitted Mr. Encinas. A journalistic investigation thus identified 1.978 mass graves containing 2.884 bodies in total.

"The priority is to treat the bodies with dignity, to identify them, to return them to their families," said Mr. Encinas.

According to the Mexican authorities, there are more than 40,000 missing in the country. More than 250,000 homicides have been counted since 2006.

President Lopez Obrador has promised a new strategy to fight against this violence, including the creation of a National Guard, 80,000 strong. But his decision to appoint a military leader was the subject of strong criticism.

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