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Press Release

Mexico State Amber Alert Coordinators Collaborate To Enhance Efforts In Recovering Missing And Abducted Children In Mexico

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Merida, Mexico -- AMBER Alert coordinators throughout various states of Mexico gathered in a three-day conference in Merida, Yucatan to discuss and provide updates on advances in implementation of the AMBER Alert system. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT) through funding from the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), organized this conference in order to promote and enhance AMBER Alert utilization and coordination throughout Mexico and further the goals of the U.S.-Mexico Bicentennial Framework on Security. Subject matter experts from the U.S. Marshals Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), and the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children participated in this event.

The AMBER Alert system originated in the United States in 1996 to quickly disseminate information about missing and abducted children. In 2012, OPDAT and INL partnered with the government of Mexico to launch the same system in Mexico. Mexico is the first country in Latin America to adopt the AMBER Alert system. Since its initiation the alert is credited with recovering 966 children in the country.

This conference gave Mexico’s AMBER Alert Coordinators the opportunity to compare successes and challenges in their implementation of AMBER Alert programs, promote greater coordination amongst states and the federal program, and share best practices. A Mexican DNA expert detailed forensic DNA analysis can further missing person’s investigations. Likewise, technology experts from companies explained how technology social media platforms can be leveraged to quickly share information about missing children. Participants created an action plan to increase coordination and submitted recommendations for best practices to be implemented in their respective states, and possibly incorporated into formal protocols.

The conference included remarks from Ambassador Salazar and Dorothy Ngutter, the US Consul General based in Merida, Yucatan. “We have seen that the AMBER Alert network has been of great importance in reuniting families. In turn, it has fostered coordination between the two countries and allows us to advance our security goals, especially by contributing to the tranquility of our nations,” said Ambassador Salazar in his opening remarks. “The work you do through AMBER Alert is crucial to acting quickly and in a coordinated manner to locate missing children.”

The goal of this conference was to continue to institutionalize communication, cooperation, and coordination in cases involving missing children to further the protection of vulnerable populations and contribute to our shared security. OPDAT will continue to support AMBER Alert usage and offer capacity building opportunities in Mexico.

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Updated June 9, 2023

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 22-594