Kidnappings have increased dramatically in Mexico over the past few years; thousands have been taken and were never seen again. 

We are caught in the middle trying to keep ourselves safe, not only from criminals but also from [the] authorities.

Raymundo Ramos Vazquez, Human Rights Committee, Nuevo Laredo

More than 22,000 people have disappeared since the Mexican government launched its war against drug cartels in 2006 - leaving the victims' families in limbo, wondering if they are dead or alive.

Kidnappings are a source of income for cartels, serving as a way to extort civilians but also to force people to work for them.

As the Mexican government struggles to battle the cartels, there are also allegations of disappearances by the state's security forces. 

"When they put the marines, army and federal police on the streets it was to create terror. Then citizens are submissive and live locked in their homes and people don't complain - despite economic problems, despite corruption amongst officials at the highest levels. We are caught in the middle trying to keep ourselves safe not only from criminals but also from [the] authorities," says Raymundo Ramos Vazquez, the director of the Human Rights Committee of Nuevo Laredo in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, just across the border with Texas.

So, what has happened to the thousands of people who have gone missing during the course of the country's drug war? And what is the government doing to end the crisis?

Fault Lines travels to Mexico to investigate one of the worst humanitarian crises of disappearances in Latin America and its impact on families searching for their loved ones, for answers, and for a justice that never seems to arrive.