Federal Law of Special Declaration Relating to the Absence of Disappeared Persons

By – Lic. Daniel Gancz.

On June 22 of this year, the decree issuing the Federal Law of Special Declaration relating to the Absence of Disappeared Persons (hereinafter, the “Law”) was published in the Official Daily Gazette of the Federation, entering into force throughout the country the day after its publication. The purpose of the Law is to acknowledge, protect and guarantee the legal capacity and rights of the Disappeared Person; in addition to granting appropriate measures to ensure the protection of family members through a federal procedure for the issuance of the Special Declaration on the Absence of Disappeared Persons. A Disappeared Person is defined as “the person whose whereabouts are unknown, and it is presumed, based on any indications, that their absence is related to a crime (Article 3, section IX of the Law).”

The main effects of this Law are:

  • Acknowledgment of the absence of the Disappeared Person;
  • Guarantee of the preservation of parental rights of the Disappeared Person and the protection of the rights and property of their children under 18 years of age;
  • Protection of the assets of the Disappeared Person, including the assets acquired on credit, in addition to the assets subject to the mortgage;
  • Establishment of the form and time frame for family members to access the assets of the Disappeared Person;
  • Guarantee the social security regime for the beneficiaries, that is derived from an employment relationship of the Disappeared Person;
  • Provisional suspension of judicial, mercantile, civil or administrative acts against the rights or property of the Disappeared Person;
  • Guarantee the continuity of legal capacity for the Disappeared Person, and
  • Dissolution of the conjugal contract and the marriage bond.

In order to obtain the Declaration of Absence, the procedure may begin three months after having filed the disappearance Report or a disappearance complaint submitted to the National Human Rights Commission. The application for a Special Declaration of Absence to be submitted to the competent Jurisdictional Body shall include the following information:

  • The name, relationship or kinship of the applicant with the disappeared person and their general information;
  • The name, date of birth and marital status of the Disappeared Person;
  • The complaint submitted to the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Specialized District Attorney’s Office or the report to the National Search Commission, in which the facts of the disappearance are narrated;
  • The date and place of the facts relating to the disappearance; when there is no accurate data on the date or place, the presumption of this information shall suffice;
  • The name and age of the relatives or individuals who hold an immediate and daily emotional relationship with the disappeared person, and
  • The occupation of the disappeared person, in addition to the name and address of their employment; and, if any, data on the Social Security regime to which the disappeared person is affiliated.

With this new Law, the following legal regulations shall be amended and adapted in their conductive sections: Federal Labor Law, Federal Law of Workers in the Service of the State, Social Security Law, Law of the Institute of Security and Social Services of Workers of the State, General Law of Securities and Credit Operations, the Law of Credit Institutions, and the Agricultural Law.

This new procedure seeks to guarantee the greatest protection for the Disappeared Person and their family members, within a time frame that may not exceed six months from the beginning of the procedure, thereby protecting the Disappeared Person in terms of his/her assets, rights and obligations, for as long as the person does not appear.

In the event that you would like to receive further information, please contact one of the following attorneys:

Leobardo Tenorio-Malof   |   ltenorio@tplegal.net
Héctor Torres-López   |   htorres@tplegal.net
Alejandro Pedrín   |   apedrin@tplegal.net
Mauricio Tortolero   |   mtortolero@tplegal.net
Daniel Gancz-Kahan   |   dgancz@tplegal.net


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