Mexico uses electoral biometrics database to ID thousands of mission persons
Recent information released by the General Council of the National Electoral Institute (INE) of Mexico reveals that from 2016 right up to May 31 this year, a total of 21,266 missing persons were found while 6,961 unclaimed bodies were identified and handed to their families for burial using biometric data from the election agency.
According to Mexicanist, this is thanks to INE’s Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS). The 6,961 bodies were positively identified after the INE received 65,404 identification requests, the outlet mentions.
While the electoral roll was meant primarily to store data for election-related matters, it now turns out the data is proving useful for other identification purposes, officials say. The issue of missing persons is reported to be one of the biggest societal problems in Mexico.
According to the report released by the INE, the identification of missing persons and unclaimed bodies has been possible thanks to at least 19 partnerships and collaborations it has signed with different institutions to make its AFIS and ABIS data available for data matching.
Officials explain that per the body identification protocol in place, the biometrics of an unidentified person are collected and submitted to the INE for analysis using the AFIS. Once the analysis is over, the results are subjected to further analysis by experts before a person’s identity is confirmed. After the identity is established, efforts are then made to locate the person’s family members or guardians, to complete the identification process.
The INE figures show that Mexico City had the biggest number of persons identified through the AFIS data with (2,608). This is followed by Baja California (1,215) and Jalisco (1,157).
The INE is hailed by Mexicanist for its support in making its huge biometric database available to national agencies conducting search and rescue missions to better carry out their functions. This leaves officials with the optimism that as time goes on, the system will help in the identification of many more missing or unidentified persons.
Mexican Presidential Candidate Marcelo Ebard recently voiced the need for a facial recognition system in response to the spiralling wave of organized crime in the country.