During the 1960s and 1970s “dirty war”, students, professors, political activists, trade unionists, and many others were victims of systematic enforced disappearance. Since 2012, a second wave of enforced disappearance is also taking place in the so-called “war on drugs and organized crime”. Thousands of migrants from Mexico and neighboring countries trying to cross the border with the USA are also increasingly subjected to gross human rights violations. According to government estimations, over 26,000 people have gone missing since 2006. Many of these cases amount to enforced disappearance.


The fate of most of these victims, both from the “dirty war” and the recent era, remains unknown. Mexican authorities have failed to search for them efficiently and to identify, investigate, prosecute and sanction those responsible. Relatives have received neither support nor compensation and a state of rampant impunity prevails.

Since 2009, TRIAL International works with several organizations to raise awareness on this crime and denounce the failure of Mexican authorities to prevent it and to bring the perpetrators before justice.

In 2009, TRIAL International and the World Organization against Torture jointly submitted a brief to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights regarding a case of torture and extrajudicial execution in Ciudad Juárez. In its judgment, the Court followed almost all the arguments put forward in the brief.

Together with its partner Fundación para la Justicia y el Estado democrático de derecho and a coalition of Latin American organizations, TRIAL International also regularly produces reports to raise the United Nation’s awareness and to advocate in favor of the victims.