For Immediate Release: December 9, 2021
Contact: Jerri Mares (505) 270-4372
Santa Fe, NM— Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas and Senator Shannon Pinto
announced legislation addressing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and
Relatives. In 2020, the New Mexico Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and
Relatives Task Force (MMIWR) released a report highlighting the generational failures
and numerous atrocities plaguing missing and murdered indigenous persons. In
response to the findings in the report, the Attorney General’s office crafted critical
legislation with Senator Pinto to combat cases of murdered and missing indigenous
women, including those being trafficked.
“The horrific, tragic plight of missing and murdered indigenous women and relatives is
something we need to focus on collaboratively statewide,” said Senator Shannon Pinto.
“This partnership will build a bridge for victims and their families seeking justice. Every
individual’s humanity should be valued and respected – this measure is an important
step in conveying that to all the people of New Mexico.”
The proposed legislation would resolve many of the problems highlighted in the report
by ensuring more effective coordination between law enforcement agencies, improved
data collection, education and training, while providing grant-funding to improve
reporting of missing persons cases. The bill also provides for greater transparency in
the continued investigation and prosecution of cases involving missing indigenous
persons to highlight the scope of the problem and the steps taken by public agencies in
responding to this issue.
“New Mexico leads the nation in violence against Indigenous women with the greatest
number of reported cases involving missing and murdered Indigenous persons,” said
Attorney General Balderas. “I have appointed an investigator, prosecutor, and victim
services to take action and seek justice for families that have been suffering for far too
long, including partnering with great stakeholders statewide that have been building
momentum to address this tragic issue. I commend Governor Lujan Grisham and
Cabinet Secretary, Lynn Trujillo for forming the MMIWR and the critical
recommendations that resulted from their work.”
The Office of the Attorney General, through Assistant Attorney General Delilah Tenorio,
has been an active member in the MMIWR.
A copy of the MMIWR report can be found here.