Home New mexico united FBI works with partners to improve reporting of missing Indigenous people in New Mexico, Navajo Nation

FBI works with partners to improve reporting of missing Indigenous people in New Mexico, Navajo Nation

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Courtesy/FBI

FBI News:

The FBI, in an effort to address the missing and murdered Native people crisis, releases a list of more than 170 Native Americans it has verified missing throughout New Mexico and the Navajo Nation.

This effort is being made public to help locate these individuals, increase transparency, and encourage relatives of missing Indigenous people who are not on this list to contact local law enforcement and file a report.

A link to the list can be found at FBI.GOV/MMIP.

“Every missing person is important. For a long time, the issue of missing Native Americans has been in the news and a lot of people are wondering if anyone is paying attention to it,” said Special Agent in Charge Raul Bujanda of the FBI’s division of Albuquerque: “I am here to assure you that the FBI has been attentive and, together with our partners, we are taking an important step towards justice for these victims, their families and their communities.”

The release of the list is the result of nearly six months of work combining and validating different databases of missing Indigenous people in New Mexico.

“We will address the case of every missing and murdered Native person with urgency, transparency and coordination,” said Alexander MM Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico. “Everyone deserves to feel safe in their community, and the development and implementation of this list marks a promising step forward in investigating and resolving these cases.”

“It is important that we work together to find a solution for the missing persons and their families,” said Marcelino ToersBijns, unit chief of the missing and murderers unit at the Bureau of Indian Affairs of the Bureau of Health Services. justice. “This single-source dataset is a significant information-sharing enhancement that shows how the BIA and federal, tribal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in New Mexico and the Navajo Nation are working together to deal with this horrible crisis.”

The FBI has validated the status of missing Native persons as listed in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), a computerized criminal justice information system available to federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement. , and other criminal justice agencies.

Many missing Indigenous person files were incomplete or out of date because the file was not updated once additional details became available or once the person was located.

The FBI reviewed hundreds of records and arrived at over 170 cases of Native Americans in New Mexico who were verified missing. The list includes all missing Indigenous people in New Mexico, but it also includes the Navajo Nation, which crosses New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. The FBI plans to update the names monthly.

Partners involved in the project include the United States Attorney’s Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Justice Services, Missing and Murdered Native Women and Relatives Task Force (MMIWR) , New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, New Mexico Department of Public Safety, New Mexico. Department of Indian Affairs, Bernalillo County Attorney’s Office, and City of Albuquerque Office of Equity and Inclusion.

As part of this effort, the FBI received information and support from the Navajo Nation, Native American Pueblos, and local law enforcement.

“The FBI’s resources and manpower devoted to producing this validated list of missing Native persons across New Mexico are critical to defining the true reach of the MMIWR in the state,” said the Secretary of State. New Mexico Department of Indian Affairs, Lynn Trujillo, MMIWR Task Force Chair. “The data shared today will guide the state’s response to this unfolding crisis. The task force will continue to strengthen partnerships at all levels of government, including local organizations that are on the ground and provide direct support to families and communities.

“This is just one important step in many, and this multi-agency effort is critical to bringing justice and victim services to communities that have historically been underserved,” said the Attorney General of New -Mexico, Hector Balderas.

“The New Mexico Department of Public Safety is the first agency in the United States to modify its National Crime Information Center (NCIC) missing person form to allow news agencies to identify people indigenous peoples and their respective tribes, pueblos or nations,” said New Jason R. Bowie, secretary of Mexico’s Ministry of Public Security. “We intend to find answers and bring justice to these women and families in our community. For generations, a disproportionate number of missing or murdered Indigenous women and loved ones have gone unreported. We resolve to address and prevent further tragedies in our state; everyone deserves to feel safe in their neighborhood.

“We appreciate the FBI’s work in verifying and refining the list of missing Indigenous people. Our MMIWR unit, created in December 2021, will use the advanced investigative techniques that have already helped solve two cases to follow up on leads generated from this list,” said Bernalillo County Prosecutor Raúl Torrez. “We encourage relatives of missing Indigenous people who are not on this list to contact local law enforcement. Our office is ready to work with you.

If someone’s relative is included in the names, the FBI actively checks numerous law enforcement databases and other sources nationwide to identify leads that will be quickly forwarded to the agency. appropriate.

If a missing Indigenous family member is not on this list, next of kin are asked to contact their local or tribal law enforcement agency and ask them to submit a missing person report to the INCC . For further assistance with their claim, family members or local law enforcement may contact the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office or the FBI.

This project adds to the FBI’s ongoing efforts to bring attention to the unsolved Indigenous homicides and missing persons cases it investigates.