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The fate of the missing in Mexico, Ukraine and Pakistan

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Relatives of the more than 100,000 people missing in Mexico marched through the country’s capital, demanding that the authorities undertake an effective search of their missing family members. According to the demonstrators, the inaction of the authorities assumes that the disappeared may have been involved in illegal activities and that lack of investigations and negligence are the order of the day. In addition, three activists have been murdered in Mexico since 2021, searching for their relatives on their own. Volunteer search teams say they want to find the bodies of their loved ones so they can be buried properly, and are not focused on bringing the culprits to justice.

According to Pakistan’s Commission of Inquiry into Enforced Disappearances (COIOED), 8696 cases of disappearances have been reported in Pakistan since 2011. 6513 of these cases have been solved, 2219 are still pending. Baluchi and Pashtun ethnic groups suffer most frequent attacks, and national intelligence agencies are believed to be behind the kidnappings.

Ukrainian residents are being kidnapped and imprisoned in Russia, which, according to human rights groups, is evidence of the use of enforced disappearances and forced displacement – potential war crimes. Officials from both countries estimate that almost 2 million Ukrainians have been deported to Russia since the outbreak of the war, while the Russians, in turn, maintain that they are undertaking evacuation measures. The families of the missing people have been conducting their search, doomed to failure, for months. There are probably three main routes by which civilians are transported to prisons in Russia: from the north-west of the country via Belarus, from the north-east to transitional military camps along the border and via Crimea in the south.

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