Raúl Torrez | Attorney General

Attorney General Balderas, Senators Pinto and Lopez Applaud Senate Passage of Critical Legislation to Combat the Epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

For Immediate Release:
February 15, 2022
Contact: Jerri Mares — (505) 321-4372

Santa Fe, NM— Attorney General Hector Balderas and Senators Shannon Pinto and Linda Lopez applaud the New Mexico Senate for passing Senate Bill 12, which is aimed at combating cases of murdered and missing indigenous women, including those being trafficked. The bill, which met some roadblocks in the Senate Judiciary, passed the Senate by a vote of 34-0 and will now move onto the House of Representatives.

“Violence against Indigenous women has gone on for far too long, and New Mexico must do a better job to help those families who seek justice,” said Attorney General Balderas. “I am grateful for the leadership of Senators Pinto and Lopez, as we fight to end the scourge of missing and murdered Indigenous women in New Mexico.”

“Today represents an important milestone, and I would like to thank all the members of the Task Force, the Indian Affairs Department, Governor Lujan Grisham, Senator Linda Lopez, all of the legislators, the Attorney General’s office, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, but especially, the relatives of the Missing and Murdered who continue to intensify awareness,” said Senator Shannon Pinto. “Senate bills 12 & 13 will help unite communities in providing better access to the resources needed to help solve these crimes and bring justice to families. Let us remain focused as the opportunity to spread awareness for action continues.”

“The plight of missing and murdered indigenous women and relatives is something we must focus on more collaboratively,” said Senator Linda Lopez. “This partnership and resources will simplify jurisdictional barriers to help solve cases and bring justice to victims and their families. I’m glad this measure has passed the Senate and am hopeful we will get it through the House and up to the Governor’s desk.”

SB12 would resolve many of the problems highlighted in the 2020 New Mexico Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives Task Force (MMIWR) 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.

The full text of Senate Bill 12 and other information about it can be found here: https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?Chamber=S&LegType=B&LegNo=12&year=22

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Raul Torrez

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