More than 73,200 people in Mexico are now missing without a trace.
This number represents a symbol of escalating violence, according to new data released by the National Registry of Missing and Unlocated Persons.
The data show that disappearances began to escalate during the Felipe Calderon administration (2006-2012) when it pursued cartels with military force. During that time, 37,601 people disappeared and 15,986 are still missing.
During the Enrique Peña Nieto’s years (2012-2018), 34,110 vanished after continuing the Calderon policy on cartels.
In December 2018, President Andres Manuel Obrador (AMLO), halted the strategy and created the National Guard in its place. According to official figures, another 27,871 disappeared under AMLO.
“Ambiguous loss” is a term used to define the experiences of families coping with missing persons. It is enhanced by the dearth of information even years later.
Mexican cartels continue to use effective techniques to dispose of murder victims. One favorite method is “guiso” or “stew.” Corpses are placed in acid until they are broken down to a soupy consistency. When acid is not available, bodies are cut to pieces and burned in metal barrels using diesel. Burning appears to be far more common due to cheap access.
Clandestine graves are the third choice among cartel operatives. More than 3,000 graves containing missing persons have been located across the country, according to the first-ever official tally.
Roughly 4,874 missing persons were at least partially located across the 3,025 sites.
In 2019, the National System of Public Security reported that 35,588 people were victims of homicides, the highest number in one year ever recorded. That includes 1,006 women. Mexico has no clear winning strategy to counter the violence orchestrated by the cartels against innocent civilians.
Jaeson Jones is a retired Captain from the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division and a Breitbart Texas contributor. While on duty, he managed daily operations for the Texas Rangers Border Security Operations Center.