Over 20,000 people missing in Mexico
A civic organisation has released a database that it says contains official information on more than 20,000 people who disappeared in Mexico over the past six years, a period that also saw thousands of people killed after the government launched a crackdown against drug cartels.
Propuesta Civica, or Civic Proposal, said the database it posted on its website contains details on 20,851 missing people that it says were collected by the federal attorney general's office during the just-ended administration of President Felipe Calderon.
The missing include police officers, bricklayers, housewives, lawyers, students, businessmen and more than 1,200 children under age 11. They are listed one by one with such details as name, age, gender and the date and place where the person disappeared.
The database also includes chilling details of kidnappings, including the case of a man who was taken by a group of gunmen who stormed into his workplace in the city of Gomez Palacio and took him away while his co-workers watched.
Another report details the disappearance of three businessmen in the western state of Michoacan, a place dominated by the Knights Templar drug cartel, a quasi-religious organisation that controls most of the state. The report says the men were kidnapped in the town of Patzcuaro by gunmen travelling in two pickup trucks.
A spokesman for federal prosecutors said the attorney general's office had no knowledge of the document.