The army says that it has captured a police station deep inside the rebel-controlled city, but has also been taking losses -- including a plane shot down by pro-Russian forces. Other evidence points to new military support for the rebels, with a column of armored vehicles seen moving near the Russian border.
Estimates of the number of disappeared people in Mexico during a decade of drug and gang violence rival numbers from Argentina's Dirty War and Colombia's armed conflict. New laws protecting victim's rights require the government to establish a national registry of those who have disappeared.
At least 60,000 people were killed in Mexico between 2006 and 2012 and tens of thousands more disappeared. But the burden of proof is on the family of the missing, who are stuck battling an unprepared and often intransigent bureaucracy as they try to find answers.