This report is informed by the relatives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, along with advocates, law enforcement, legislators, organizations and community members. Our goal is to share the words and experiences of families to expose gaps in our justice system and in the resources and services for families, victims and survivors. Our hope is that this report reflects the voices and experiences of our communities and every person who has been impacted or knows someone who has been impacted by this profound crisis in our state.
Although this is a national crisis, the state of New Mexico provides an ideal case study for the broader challenges facing Native American communities across the country. Despite having the fifth-largest Indigenous population in the nation, the state of New Mexico has the highest number of MMIWG cases in the country. This context motivated the foundation of the New Mexico Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives (MMIWR) Task Force, which set out in 2019 to study the scope of this crisis in the state. Initial findings in this report represent the work of the MMIWR Task Force over the past year and demonstrate significant discrepancies in the data available for analysis by our research team; the findings also point to jurisdictional barriers that make addressing this issue challenging. The MMIWR Task Force has also identified a lack of awareness about the severity of this issue, which suggests the need for a major education campaign across the state of New Mexico.