FBI to work with state, local and tribal partners to improve reporting on MMIR
In an effort to address the crisis of missing or murdered Indigenous persons, the FBI on Monday released the names of more than 170 Native Americans it has verified as missing throughout New Mexico and the Navajo Nation. They also announced they will be working with partners at the tribal, state and local levels to improve the reporting of missing Indigenous persons as well.
The release of the list is the result of almost six months of working, combining and validating different databases of missing Indigenous persons in New Mexico.
Special Agent in Charge Raul Bujanda said in working on verified cases, the FBI found many different databases were using different or incomplete data for the same individual.
“Our data, what we noticed is the biggest issue and concern. The data was incomplete in many places and some agencies were reporting different data. No fault of their own, but just in different ways,” Buhanda said.
To address this lack of consistency, the agency has listed the status of all 177 missing Indigenous persons in the National Crime Information Center or NCIC. This is a computerized system of criminal justice information that will be available to federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies.
Several federal and state agencies are partners with the FBI on this new project and they also received information and support from the Navajo Nation, Native American Pueblos and local law enforcement.
The FBI said the publication of this effort will hopefully help locate these missing individuals, increase transparency and encourage those who have missing Indigenous relatives who are not on this list to reach out to local law enforcement and file a report.
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said he hopes this new partnership between federal, state, local and tribal parties will help lead to a new beginning and justice for the affected Indigenous families.
“New Mexico had a black-eye for decades, for generations that this community was a forgotten community. We were the worst of the worst and we are hoping that this model, that represents both victim services, brings together the multiple jurisdictions and then ultimately modernizes a justice system that brings accountability. That ultimately becomes the most effective justice system for the Native American community.”
To view the FBI's full list of missing Indigenous persons, click here.