Summary: Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to examine three cases of forced disappearance

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has for the first time asked the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to investigate a case of forced disappearance linked to the Mexican “War on Drugs”. SRT grantee Centro de Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres (CEDEHM) provided legal representation to the victims’ families at the national and international levels, and presented the case at the Inter-American Commission along with two other human rights organisations.

Cousins, Nitza Paola Alvarado Espinoza, José Ángel Alvarado Herrera and Rocío Irene Alvarado Reyes were detained without an arrest warrant by military personnel in Ejido Benito Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, on December 29, 2009. They have not been seen since, and their families have not had any news of them since 2013. The military claimed at first that they had detained the Alvarados when searching for suspected criminals, but later denied having them in custody at all.No one has so far been brought to justice for their disappearance, although their families filed lawsuits with both local and national authorities.

The IACHR has been critical of the Mexican government’s failure to investigate the case, claiming in June 2015 that “the investigations related to military personnel [were] not being followed”. Before referring the matter to the Inter-American Court they recommended that the national authorities investigate the matter again and ensure that those responsible were prosecuted.To date the national authorities have failed to do this.

CEDEHM and their partner organisations said in a statement, “Almost seven years have passed since these events, and the relatives of Nitza Paola, Rocío Irene and José Ángel Alvarado, and the organizations that have supported them, hope that this case helps not only to obtain integral redress, but also results in structural measures that impact the 28,000plus cases of disappeared individuals in Mexico […] to guarantee the truth, justice and redress for all these cases.”

The IACHR press statement is available at:

The full statement by CEDEHM and their partner NGOs (in Spanish only) is available at:

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