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Nearly 80,000 people remain missing in Mexico, government says

MEXICO CITY — Fourteen years after Mexico launched a military crackdown on drug cartels, more than 79,500 people remain missing in the country, the government said on Wednesday.

The vast majority of those missing disappeared since 2006, when then-president Felipe Calderon launched the offensive, in which tens of thousands of people were killed.

Only about 1,500 of the disappearances date from before 2006, according to statistics presented by Deputy Human Rights Minister Alejandro Encinas.

Around 6,300 new cases have been reported since July.

However, the numbers of disappearances have gone down since last year, Encinas said.

Mexico suffers from high levels of violence, attributed mainly to organized crime, with more than 65,000 people killed last year and in the first 10 months of this year.

Encinas said that 1,399 mass graves have been discovered in the country in the past two years. Only 879 of the 2,290 bodies in the graves have been identified.

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