The government has a database listing the names of 26,121 people who have not been located or are missing in Mexico, Deputy Government Secretary for Judicial Affairs and Human Rights Lia Limon said.

"People are the most important thing for the government and we understand clearly that behind these statistics there are human beings who deserve our respect," Limon said.

The figures were compiled during the 2006-2012 administrtion of President Felipe Calderon, the high-level official said.

The database includes 20,915 cases of "prior investigations, registered complaints or investigative files," Limon said.

Some 5,206 cases "pending the validation of information" are also in the database, Limon said.

"It is essential to mention that this database should not prejudge the reasons for the failure to locate people because many of those in it may have gone missing for different reasons not necessarily related to criminal incidents," the deputy government secretary said.

The government is working to create a definitive registry and non-governmental organizations are being asked to provide information on missing persons cases, Limon said. EFE