In a surprising turn of events, the humble fingerprint has emerged as a powerful tool for identifying unknown bodies and aiding in the search for missing persons. The source of this breakthrough? None other than the Electoral Roll, the largest biometric database in the country. A recent report presented before the General Council of the National Electoral Institute (INE) revealed that from 2016 to May 31, a staggering 6,961 bodies that had remained nameless were successfully identified using fingerprints stored in the Electoral Roll.
But that's not all. The report also disclosed that the Electoral Roll has played a crucial role in providing biometric information to assist in the search for 21,266 missing individuals. These numbers highlight the significant impact that this database, primarily intended for electoral purposes, can have on matters of life and death.
To achieve this feat, the INE has collaborated extensively with federal and state authorities, signing 19 collaboration agreements to harness the power of its automatic fingerprint identification systems (AFIS) and biometric systems (ABIS). Under these agreements, the INE's database is compared with the information provided by authorities to identify bodies and facilitate the search for missing persons.
To understand the process, let's dive into the protocol established for body identification. Forensic services capture the biometric images of the fingerprints of unidentified individuals, which are then submitted to the AFIS system for analysis. The results are subsequently verified by fingerprint experts. However, it's important to note that merely confirming a fingerprint match isn't sufficient to determine a person's identity. The experts must also locate the person's relatives or acquaintances to achieve complete identification, thereby closing the case of a missing or unlocated individual.
Out of the 65,404 requests for identification received by the INE, a promising 19,270 individuals were shortlisted as potential matches. Finally, through careful analysis and expert examination, a total of 6,961 candidates were positively identified. These numbers are a testament to the remarkable impact of using biometric data in solving the mysteries surrounding unidentified bodies.
When it comes to the geographical distribution of the identified bodies, Mexico City takes the lead, with an astonishing 2,608 cases solved through fingerprints from the Electoral Roll. Baja California and Jalisco follow closely, with 1,215 and 1,157 identifications, respectively. These statistics paint a vivid picture of the crucial role played by the INE's biometric database in bringing closure to families and loved ones affected by such tragic circumstances.
Turning our attention to the search for missing persons, the INE has provided biometric information in a remarkable 21,266 cases. While it remains unclear how many of these instances resulted in locating missing or unlocated individuals, the significance lies in the support offered by the INE to institutions responsible for the search. Armed with this valuable information, these institutions can better carry out their functions and fulfill their obligations in the pursuit of reuniting families and resolving cases of disappearance.
It is important to reflect on the unconventional yet highly effective utilization of the Electoral Roll database. Originally designed for electoral purposes, this vast biometric repository has inadvertently become an invaluable tool for addressing one of society's most pressing issues—missing persons. By combining cutting-edge technology with collaborative efforts, the INE has demonstrated how a resource intended for one purpose can be harnessed to serve a greater cause.
As this pioneering approach continues to evolve, there is hope that more unidentified bodies will find their names and more missing individuals will be reunited with their loved ones. The power of fingerprints knows no bounds, and it's heartening to witness the positive impact they can have when leveraged in innovative ways.