... To be "disappeared" in Latin America carries overtones of the military dictatorships and state-sponsored repression of the 1970s and '80s that saw tens of thousands of dissidents go missing across the region. But today's disappearances, largely apolitical, terrorize civil society.
Some of Mexico's disappeared are believed to have been kidnapped by drug traffickers settling scores or beefing up their ranks. Others report that their relatives were last seen in the hands of officials, or at least by those posing in uniform. Often lines are blurry, as many authorities, particularly at the municipal level, have ties to organized crime."