MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexican activists filed a criminal complaint at the International Court of Justice in The Hague on Wednesday, alleging that authorities collaborated with or allowed drug cartels to kidnap people who were never seen again.
The case involves hundreds of people who disappeared in Mexico’s Gulf Coast state of Veracruz between 2010 and 2016. While many are believed to have been abducted and killed by drug gangs, many are also believed to have been abducted by corrupt police.
The International Federation for Human Rights filed the lawsuit on behalf of activist groups that helped locate hundreds of secret graves in Veracruz.
The Federation presented evidence of 22 cases in which there was a systematic pattern of disappearances, which may have related to many of the approximately 600 bodies found.
In Veracruz, members of a state police unit were convicted of illegal detentions and disappearances in the mid-2010s, during the administration of then-governor Javier Duarte.
“This is further evidence of crimes against humanity in Mexico committed by organized crime, government authorities or both acting together,” said Jimena Reyes, director of the Federation for the Americas.
The Federation filed similar complaints regarding cases in the states of Coahuila and Nayarit; those cases have not yet been decided.