The number of missing people in Mexico has exceeded 100,000 for the first time, according to interior ministry figures released Monday.
The 'desaparecidos,' Spanish word for missing people, are tracked in a national register compiled by the interior ministry which is constantly updated.
The large number of missing people reflects the violence Mexico has experienced since the war on drugs began in 2006.
According to estimates, more than 350,000 people have died since then. Last year there were 94 murders a day on average in Mexico, a country of more than 129 million people.
"Organized crime has become a central perpetrator of disappearance in Mexico, with varying degrees of participation, acquiescence or omission by public servants," the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances said in a report issued last month in the wake of a delegation visit to Mexico.
"States parties are directly responsible for enforced disappearances committed by public officials, but may also be accountable for disappearances committed by criminal organizations," the committee stressed.
Human rights defenders
The committee expressed concern about the situation of human rights defenders, some of whom have been disappeared because of their own participation in searches and fighting against disappearances.
More than 30 journalists have also disappeared in Mexico between 2003 and 2021, none of whom has been located, the committee said.
According to organizations that search for people who have disappeared, many families do not report missing loved ones because of distrust in the authorities. The true number of the disappeared is therefore thought to be much higher than the official one.