Number of missing people in Mexico rises to 30,000 by end of 2016

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The number of people in Mexico disappearing under suspicious circumstances, often related to drug violence, rose to 30,000 by the end of 2016, the National Human Rights Commission said on Thursday.

At the start of 2013, shortly after President Enrique Pena Nieto took office, the Mexican government reported there were 26,000 so-called "disappeared" people.

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Mass graves discovered in Mexico
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Mass graves discovered in Mexico
Forensic investigators work in the exhumation and identification of a mass grave at a cemetery that is believed to have been used to bury unidentified victims of violent crime in Jojutla, near Mexico City, Mexico March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Margarito Perez Retana
An elderly man looks for material to recycle near a police cordon surrounding a mass grave in Tetelcingo, Mexico, November 12, 2015. Mexican authorities are investigating local security officials who put at least 105 unidentified victims of violent crime in a mass grave in central Mexico, according to officials. The bodies were found in a small, indigenous community in the state of Morelos, which has one of the highest kidnapping rates in the country, said state prosecutor Javier Perez. The surge in drug cartel violence across Mexico over the last decade has left a large number of victims whom authorities fail to identify. They are often dumped in communal graves in cemeteries after being granted official permits to do so, however this site was not authorized, said Perez. REUTERS/Margarito Perez
A cross stands among police tape set up to mark a mass grave found next to a cemetery in Tetelcingo, Mexico, November 12, 2015. Mexican authorities are investigating local security officials who put at least 105 unidentified victims of violent crime in a mass grave in central Mexico, according to officials. The bodies were found in a small, indigenous community in the state of Morelos, which has one of the highest kidnapping rates in the country, said state prosecutor Javier Perez. The surge in drug cartel violence across Mexico over the last decade has left a large number of victims whom authorities fail to identify. They are often dumped in communal graves in cemeteries after being granted official permits to do so, however this site was not authorized, said Perez. REUTERS/Margarito Perez
A fly rests on a police tape set up to mark a mass grave found next to a cemetery in Tetelcingo, Mexico, November 12, 2015. Mexican authorities are investigating local security officials who put at least 105 unidentified victims of violent crime in a mass grave in central Mexico, according to officials. The bodies were found in a small, indigenous community in the state of Morelos, which has one of the highest kidnapping rates in the country, said state prosecutor Javier Perez. The surge in drug cartel violence across Mexico over the last decade has left a large number of victims whom authorities fail to identify. They are often dumped in communal graves in cemeteries after being granted official permits to do so, however this site was not authorized, said Perez. REUTERS/Margarito Perez
Forensic investigators work in the exhumation and identification of a mass grave at a cemetery that is believed to have been used to bury unidentified victims of violent crime in Jojutla, near Mexico City, Mexico March 22, 2017. The banner reads "Our children are missing". REUTERS/Margarito Perez Retana
A view of an abandoned ranch where state authorities discovered a mass grave with the remains of 56 people a year ago, in the municipality of Garcia, on the outskirts of Monterrey, Mexico January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril
A view of an abandoned ranch where state authorities discovered a mass grave with the remains of 56 people a year ago, in the municipality of Garcia, on the outskirts of Monterrey, Mexico January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril
A relative reacts during a mass of missing persons at the site where several bodies were found in mass graves in the municipality of Salinas Victoria, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, October 29, 2016. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril
A view of mass graves on the outskirts of Veracruz city, Veracruz state, on March 16, 2017. Over the past six months, Mexican authorities have found at least 242 bodies in clandestine graves discovered on the initiative of mothers whose children have disappeared in the violent state of Veracruz. / AFP PHOTO / ILSE HUESCA (Photo credit should read ILSE HUESCA/AFP/Getty Images)
Mexican Navy personel conduct a search of college students in Cocula community, Guerrero State, Mexico on October 29, 2014. Mexican authorities have searched in vain for any trace of the college students who disappeared on September 26 in this town of some 140,000 inhabitants. The country recoiled in fresh horror Tuesday over the discovery of yet another mass grave, in the futile monthlong search for 43 missing college students.AFP PHOTO/ALFREDO ESTRELLA (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)
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The Commission said the number of "disappeared" had risen to 30,000, with the drug-ridden northern state of Tamaulipas registering 5,563 missing, the highest state total.

It said six of Mexico's 32 federal entities failed to respond to its enquiries on the number of missing persons.

The Commission also said it had accounted for 855 mass graves across Mexico over the last decade, finding 1,548 corpses, the large majority of which were male. Just over half of those bodies have been identified, it added.

Well over 100,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico over the last decade.

(Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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