Puebla is the eighth state with the highest number of missing persons, according to the National Registry of Missing and Not Located Persons. However, this is a problem mainly for women from Puebla, since they are the main affected.

The National Registry indicates that in Puebla –until March 4, 2022– 10,273 people have disappeared; Of these, 2,555 are still missing, 7,259 have been found alive and 459 were found dead.

In an interview with Poblanerías.com, Tadeo Luna de la Mora, head of the Security and Justice program at the Ignacio Ellacuría Human Rights Institute (IDHIE) of the Universidad Iberoamericana de Puebla, mentions that the disappearance of women in Puebla is a phenomenon that must be be approached by the authorities:

Contrary to what happens at the national level, where the majority of people who disappear are men, in Puebla five men and five women disappear, this shows an overrepresentation of disappeared women. In addition, we find a disproportion of young women between 10 and 19 years old”.

30.47 percent of the total number of disappeared persons in Puebla are women between 10 and 19 years of age.

For Dr. Tadeo, although there are no official figures to confirm this, it is possible that the disappearance of women is directly related to other crimes such as human trafficking for sexual exploitation, for the Puebla-Tlaxcala corridor or in the surroundings. from Tehuacan.

Why is the Alba Protocol not used?

The Alba Protocol is a tool to carry out the immediate search for the location of missing women and girls in Mexico. It is a protocol similar to the Amber Alert.

This protocol began to operate in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua in 2003 and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights modified it in 2012 to strengthen the search process. You can consult the Alba Protocol by clicking here.

However, in the opinion of Tadeo Luna, many of the efforts that have been made in this matter remain on paper and are not executed, despite the official regulations that must be complied with in the matter:

Last year through requests for information on how many times the Alba Protocol was implemented in Puebla and they told us that it had not been implemented because they had not been able to meet due to the pandemic.

In addition, Tadeo Luna refers that due to structural machismo they end up criminalizing women even when they disappear, and for this reason fewer Amber Alerts are issued in cases of disappeared girls than in cases of boys.

Ley de los desaparecidos
(Photo: Rodrigo Peña/La Resistencia)

“Official” message revictimizes and criminalizes the disappeared

Although in the state of Puebla there is, since 2016, the Gender Violence Alert against women, the authorities do not comply.

Luna de la Mora considers that the phrases that Governor Miguel Barbosa has issued such as "people who are absent do so voluntarily", "the majority of reports of disappearances are cases of people who did not disappear, but appear with their boyfriend" revictimize to the people who are missing:

It is a pity that the Governor does not know the people he claims to govern. There are a lot of missing people in the state and if you don't know them it's because you haven't opened your doors to them. The groups have been outside Casa Aguayo and they have not opened the doors for them”.

In addition, it indicates these sayings criminalize the people who are missing and their relatives who are carrying out the searches.

According to the Puebla State Attorney General's Office, during 2021, 1,317 investigation files were opened for missing persons.

These figures contrast with what the National Registry reports, who only refer to 139 missing, unlocated and located persons during 2021 in the state of Puebla.

Why is the Prosecutor's Office reporting ten times more the number of missing persons? Dr. Tadeo Luna has a hypothesis:

We have realized that as of 2019 the Prosecutor's Office stopped passing the complete information to the National Registry of Disappeared Persons. We believe that these figures are already made up


Translate done by: Luba Michelle García Vega