A rally for Malén Ortiz in April last year.

02-04-2015Michels

The Guardia Civil's missing persons unit is keeping open seventy cases of people who have disappeared in the Balearics, among them the teenager Malén Ortiz, who went missing in Calvia on 2 December 2013. (She was last seen in Sa Porrassa, Magalluf.)

The Guardia does not give out information on this or any of the other cases, as they are subject to secrecy, but investigations remain open until individuals would have reached 105 years of age.

Families who are affected by disappearances believe that maintaining a situation of sub judice creates a major obstacle. They have criticised the authorities for "still not having realised that disappearances are a very great problem".

Natalia Rodríguez, the mother of Malén, has been living through the "pain and nightmare" of her disappearance. She has, though, found something positive through coordination with Elena Encinas of the assocation "Sosdesaparecidos". This was founded in 2007 and is currently concerned with eight cases, among them Malén, who was 15 when she went missing. The association provides legal and psychological counselling.

"I try not to feel like I did initially, when I had no idea which way to turn," says Natalia Rodríguez. Through work with the association and her personal experience, she has come to believe that the authorities do not appreciate the real scale of disappearances. "There is no true number of people who have disappeared. There is no single database. Institutionally, there are many deficiencies."

Given this, the association sees an advantage in such high-profile media cases such as the disappearance of Diana Quer, the eighteen-year-old who went missing three months ago in A Pobra de Caramiñal in Galicia.

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