MEXICO CITY (February 26, 2013)—An official count shows at least 26,121 people were reported missing in Mexico during the term of President Felipe Calderon, who launched the country's offensive against drug cartels.
Lia Limon, the Interior Department's sub-secretary for human rights, said the list used data from local prosecutors across Mexico, and includes people reported missing for any reason during the previous administration.
It doesn't include information collected after November 2012.
The list has been a subject of controversy in Mexico for weeks.
After Limon said last week that some 27,000 were missing, a member of Calderon's administration disputed the figure, saying the only registry on people who disappeared contains 5,319 names.
Limon said the government would work to compare the official list with others assembled by government agencies and rights groups.