The Mexican navy was implicated in the disappearance of 27 people in 2018 and was asked to compensate the families of the victims, according to the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH).
The commission said Tuesday it had investigated the disappearances in the northern state of Tamaulipas of the 27 people, who were “arbitrarily detained and disappeared… by elements of the navy.”
Twelve of the missing were found dead, and it had “managed to prove” the navy’s probable responsibility in the disappearances.
The commission said it requested the navy pay reparations to complainants and their families over the forced disappearances.
The navy responded on a Twitter account that it had accepted the request.
Of the group of disappeared persons, 12 were found dead, some in “clandestine burials,” the CNDH said.
The ombudsman had asked the federal prosecution to continue searching “exhaustively” for the 15 people still missing and to investigate the sailors identified by the relatives of the victims.
Raymundo Ramos, president of the Nuevo Laredo Human Rights Committee, welcomed the CNDH’s recommendation.
The government of then-president Enrique Pena Nieto (2012-2018) “had denied that the navy had participated in the events, had criminalized the victims and had attributed these disappearances to an organized crime group,” Ramos told AFP.
He added that the victims belonged to “different social strata, there is a housewife, a baker, a 16-year-old minor… and it could be thought that they were taken to obtain intelligence.”
Tamaulipas, which lies along the Gulf of Mexico and borders Texas, is one of the most violent regions in the country due to its location on popular drug trafficking routes.
The Mexican government has recorded 73,201 missing persons, the majority after a military anti-drug offensive was launched in 2006.