This story is a staff report from The Paper.

On Thursday, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that the
Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is partnering with the Albuquerque Police
Department (APD), to review unsolved missing and Indigenous persons homicide
cases. Special agents and prosecutors from the OAG are working directly with APD’s
cold case unit to evaluate, investigate, and prosecute cases involving missing and
indigenous persons.

As part of a broader coalition to address the epidemic of Missing and Murdered
Indigenous Women (MMIW), Senator Pinto and the Indian Affairs Department have
been instrumental in helping the OAG craft legislation and bring this issue to the
forefront. Senate Bill 12, endorsed by the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
and Relatives Task Force removes obstacles to the pursuit of justice for MMIW
survivors, victims, and relatives by closing jurisdictional loopholes in the investigation
and prosecution of MMIW cases, including funding for case specialists to provide
education and training and assist stakeholders statewide with MMIW investigations.

“Indigenous persons are far too likely to be the victims of violent crime in New Mexico
and are inadvertently denied justice by antiquated laws,” Balderas said.

Senate Bill 12 further provides grant funding to the 23 sovereign tribes of New Mexico to
build a platform for information sharing with the State Missing Persons Clearinghouse
for MMIW, and improve reporting of missing persons cases for more effective
coordination with law enforcement agencies and improving data collection.