Kin of Mexico’s missing demand say in legislation

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Published September 13, 2016 EFE

Mexico City – Relatives of some of the more than 28,000 people listed as missing in Mexico rallied on Tuesday outside the Senate to demand that their views be taken into account in drafting a bill on forced disappearances.

Holding up photographs of missing loved ones, protesters delivered to the Senate a citizen initiative - backed by 200 NGOs - calling for victims’ families to be part of the legislative process.

The families and their supporters want to see the proposed law specify a new legal offense of forced disappearance, one of the organizers of Tuesday’s event, Nadin Reyes Maldonado, told EFE.

In the initial draft of the bill, no distinction is made between people who have been forcibly disappeared and others who have simply gone missing without any sign of foul play, she said.

Then-lower-house speaker Jesus Zambrano said at the start of this year that legislation on forced disappearance would be a priority for lawmakers in 2016.

But according to Reyes, activists determined "there was no political will" to address the issue during the early 2016 congressional session.

While lawmakers invited representatives of victims’ families to speak at forums, the first legislative draft "was a bill that in no way corresponded" to the families’ concerns, Reyes said.

She described those forums as a cynical exercise intended to allow Congress to claim that the families approved of the proposed legislation.

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