aspen_banner.jpg
Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

New Mexico unit to specialize on Indigenous crime victims

Memorial to missing and murdered Indigenous women in St. Paul, Minn.
AP, file
/
Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Memorial to missing and murdered Indigenous women in St. Paul, Minn.

Prosecutors in New Mexico’s busiest judicial district and the state Indian Affairs Department are teaming up to create a special investigative unit to focus on cases of missing and slain Native Americans.

State Indian Affairs Secretary Lynn Trujillo and Bernalillo County District Attorney Raúl Torrez announced the memorandum of understanding Thursday to create the unit.

The team within the district attorney’s office will help a statewide task force with analysis, case investigations and interventions.

Officials said New Mexico has the fifth-largest Native American population in the U.S. and the highest number of Indigenous people who have been killed or are missing in the country.