The Battle for Truth and Justice
And Again, September Came
September 19, 2017
For Mexicans, September is a month with a special meaning not only because of the Independence’s anniversary. “The patriotic month,” I recall as an official slogan during my childhood. But in this month tragedy and resilience have come together during the last five decades. On September 23 of 1965, the guerrilla group Grupo Popular Guerrillero took over military headquarters in the city of Madera in northern Mexico. This uprising was the result of social inequity, impunity and total control of power by local oligarchy and authorities. The assault was rudely repressed by the army, and relatives of guerrilla members were forced to witness the burial of guerrilla fighters in a mass grave. However, the annihilation of this uprising unleashed the reappearance of more than 40 guerrilla groups in the 1970’s.
On September 19th of 1985, an earthquake destroyed many neighborhoods in Mexico City, leaving behind thousands of deaths, and thousands of people without a home. During this crisis, while the Mexican government was not able to attend its population, civilian society came together in solidarity to remove debris and to rescue people trapped in the fallen buildings. It is well registered a series of anomalies and corruption related to scams in the construction business and authorities providing permits for buildings that did not fulfill basic requirements in a seismic area.
Last September 7th, another earthquake devastated many communities in Oaxaca and Chiapas. Oaxaca is the state more affected by the earthquake, and once again civilians have been providing food, clothes, medicine, and water to survivors, while political parties have been using this tragedy for rallying for presidential elections in 2018.
Dreadfully, another earthquake hit Mexico on September 19, few hours after the evacuation testing took place at 11 AM. Once again the story seems to repeat itself. Buildings fell, and civil society, particularly the youth, immediately gathered and organized for rescuing and finding support for survivors. Once again, authorities lack the capacity for assisting its citizens. Moreover, the army and authorities took control over buildings sealing the access for providing help, denied the support of other countries such as Switzerland who offered to send a rescue team. Authorities obstructed the delivery of supplies in Morelos and stamped all boxes with Morelos government seal. However, civilians disobeyed, they opened the trucks and delivered by hand supplies sent to the rural communities in Morelos state.
Other stories of corruption, selfishness, and malice have been reported such as the fake news of a teen buried in the Rebsamen school. This fake news was supported by official media (Televisa), the army and authorities for taking advantage and be protagonists of the rescue. It is also known that the minister of Education, Aurelio Nuño, was hunting the opportunity to be part of a spectacular rescue in the school destroyed. Petty quarrels among army and authorities for showing off, promoting governments actions not only pretended to erase the community’s work but they have also obstructed the rescuing works by sealing buildings and attempting to demolish them while there are still survivors and bodies. The rush for cleaning up the city is cruel, and it demonstrates that the state does not really care for its people. “How can we expect that the army will help us if they have been killing us” was a statement shared in social networks.
Indeed, burying bodies, burying civil and human rights has been a systematic practice, symbolically and literally, over the past five decades at least. As if by burying the people that do not matter, could also bury the truth, the memory, the pride, the humanity; as if it could be possible to bury their corruption, their greed, their malice.
In the wake of the third anniversary of Iguala attacks against civilians and the disappearance of 43 students of Ayoztinapa, there has been none progress, neither accountability by Mexican authorities. Despite reports and recommendations by the Interdisciplinary Group (GIEI) as part of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, the Mexican government has played the fool, delaying the investigations, denying these reports, unleashing a discredit campaign and surveillance against the relatives of 43 students of Ayotzinapa, human rights defenders, and journalists.
However, manifestations of solidarity and investigations delivered last September 9th are crucial to uncovering the truth in the platform Ayotzinapa A Cartography of Violence: www.plataforma-ayotzinapa.org/
September came again with fierce, but it also came with great resilience and hope because once again civil society, the people, are the ones who are able to reconstruct itself in spite of authorities obstruction. This should be remembered as a tattoo in our soul, we can do it together, we still have a beating heart. AGU
Ayot2inapa Two Years Two Months: The People Demanding Justice
November 26, 2016. It’s been two years and two months that Ayotzinapa students were taken away from their families, and every month that passes by reinforces the demand for justice. Commemoration dates, public spaces, and demonstrations constitute the carving of our social fabric, an imprint that time cannot wash away from memory because it is in our present everyday. But carving and memory practices are made of pain, of exhaustion, of families suffering the absence of their beloved ones. These footprints are made of sweat, of disappointments, but also they are made by hope and by resistance. Demonstrations on the second anniversary showed the struggle and persistence of the families of 43 disappeared students, but it also showed the systematic government’s response for delaying justice, which is the cruelest strategy for burning out the struggle and demands of the families. This is another way of torture, as it is the bureaucratic labyrinths that relative of disappeared have to go through, as it has been the government’s war of reports, and discredit campaigns against families of the 43 disappeared students and members of the group of experts (GIEI).
Above all, the fact is that the families are facing a long and profound distress, as well as moral, physical and health exhaustion that has been paid little attention to. The second anniversary also represents a specter that any relative of disappeared fear the most, the idea that their struggle is becoming a long-term one. In despite of this, relatives keep mobilizing in Guerrero, Mexico City, USA and Latin America following one the strategies they adopted from the very beginning by spreading in several groups looking for an audience that listens to their voices, enhancing bonds with other communities, and activating international pressure. Without demonstrations during the first months, it would have been almost impossible to get attention from Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Therefore, the investigations made by GIEI from March 2015-April 2016 is an achievement of the parents of the 43 disappeared students and their supporters.
Ayotzinapa also encouraged other relatives of disappeared people to take action, not only to overcome their fear and denounce these crimes, but also to organize and start searches in clandestine mass graves ‘discovered’ during the police investigations in Iguala area. Paradoxically, authorities’ certainty that remains found in mass graves did not belong to 43 disappeared students uncovered the deeper nightmare Mexico has been living since early 2000. As Miguel Ángel Leyva says, in the north of Mexico enforced disappearance started affecting population since 2000, and in 2002 families of disappeared founded Association for Hope Against Enforced Disappearance and Against Impunity.
In this regard Ayotzinapa has shed light on the systematic issue of enforced disappearance in Mexico, a regular practice by political police, regular police and military forces during the student movement in 1968, the counterinsurgent operations in 1970’s and 1980’s, the expansion of drug cartels in 1990’s and 2000’s, and the current period in the wake of former president Calderón’s “War Against Drugs” policy. As scholars and families of disappeared pointed out during the National Meeting of Enforced Disappearance, organized by sociologists Claudia Rangel and Evangelina Sánchez, there is evidence that enforced disappearance has been part of a government’s strategy to punish activism and social movements. However the shocking difference nowadays is that public forces are intertwined with organized crime, enforced disappearance is massive taking people by groups, and it is targeted to all population, not only political dissidence. www.facebook.com/EncuentroNacionalUACM/videos/
Ayotzinapa is a milestone that brought us back a past of state violence “flashing up at the moment of danger”, paraphrasing W Benjamin. It reminded us that authorities have covered systematically police and military’s repression operatives, as seen in different moments in Mexico’s recent history. During Vicente Fox’s term (2000-2006) the final report of Special Prosecutors Office (FEMOSPP) on the ‘Dirty War’ swiped away war crimes by naming them as an excessive use of military power, and blurring direct authorities’ responsibility. In the wake of questionable election results, former President Felipe Calderón (2006-2012) pursued to validate his presidency by endorsing and empowering military forces through the War Against Drugs. President Enrique Peña Nieto nowadays, is not only covering the army in cases such as Ayotzinapa and Tlataya, just to name some examples, but he is also increasing financial resources, legal protection to the military, and sending more troops to surveying the streets.
Demands of justice for Ayotzinapa, and endurance of the relatives of the 43 students reveals Mexican government’s contradictions between speech and action. Recurrent changes in Peña Nieto’s cabinet and Attorney General Office are delaying advances in the case, in the meanwhile law reforms have been aimed to control the potential ‘damages’ of an active civil society, and to enhance military power. A clear example of government’s double standard is the recent passed reform of General Law of Victims (GLV). In despite of the proposal presented in last September by more than 110 organizations of relatives of disappeared and human rights’ NGOs, Mexican Senate approved a reform that far from improving the law and being inclusive as a result of consensus, it represents a huge setback. For press release in Spanish see: bit.ly/2e1lM22
Approved GLV reform did not included key aspects that would have lead to protect adequately, by law, survivors of violence in Mexico. The core amendments locked up autonomy and flexibility by: 1) not acknowledging victims do suffer of enforced internal displacement as a result of violence and threats by organized crime, 2) not approving the annual budget, 3) diminishing consultation and participation of families of disappeared in the Executive Commission for Assisting Victims (CEAV), and 4) removing autonomy of the Commission by approving Mexican Presidency shall designate the appointment of the new director of CEAV. The law reform passed last week immediately has unleashed disputes, and even the resignation of former director Susana Pedroza de la Llave claiming that Senators and Roberto Campa Cifrián (former Deputy Secretary of Human Rights at the Secretary of the Interior) intervened in the approval of regressive reforms for negotiating political interests instead of protecting families and victims.
This setback is not isolated from a series of readjustments in the Peña Nieto’s cabinet. The removal of Tomás Zerón de Lucio on September 14th from his post as director of Criminal Investigation Agency was not as a result of his responsibility in planting evidence that sustained government’s version of Ayotzinapa students being burned in Cocula’s dump garbage. Three hours later after his removal, he was appointed as Deputy Secretary of the National Security Council. Moreover, Arely Gómez was also removed on October 26 from her post as General Attorney of the Republic and was appointed for chairing the Secretary of Public Function. Clearly, cabinet’s readjustments are promotions, not the suspension for covering up and planting evidence. Government’s response contradicts statements made by Campa Cifrían regarding the proactive role of the Mexican government for investigating Iguala attacks and the student’s disappearance two years ago. His words are far from being trustworthy. Official reports of hundred of pages’, 131 arrested suspects of being involved in the attacks, most of them tortured, have not been able to follow other lines of investigation, have not been able to find original footage, neither communications between police and military forces during the night of the attacks.
The escalating of military reinforcement in the last decade, at least, highlights the disparity between protection to public forces (recent implementation of PTSD program for army, and legal immunity) and the lack of interest for funding programs aimed to prevent human rights violations and bio-psychosocial attention to survivors of violence (relatives of disappeared, women, indigenous communities, LGBTTI people among many other groups). In spite of proliferation of human rights government’s bodies, there is an abyss between these organizations and effective results in both investigations and attention to survivors. The same contradiction emerges between tangible ascend of violence and human rights violations, and authorities’ public statements, official reports and response to international entities’ recommendations (United Nations, Organization of American States, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Council of European Union among others). This double standard has a long history as some of the strategies of the official party, PRI. However, if this model of authoritarianism and monopoly of media was successful for covering massacres in the XX Century, nowadays it ‘s hard to hide out what is evident: corruption, authoritarianism, violence, and collusion between public force, political elite and organized crime.
However, this means that if information by Indie media is more available these days, and the Mexican government is not acting to solve these problems, there is also a responsibility of civil society for demanding accountability and real changes. Ayotzinapa’s endurance, as also the many social movements in Mexico, is a lighthouse that sheds light to impunity, but also to resilience and demands for justice. In this regard, the social movement supporting Ayotzinapa belongs to everybody, and we all also share the responsibility to assuring this will not happen ever. The movement belongs to us, beyond petty quarrels of a group in New York that unfortunately resulted in the cancelation of screenings of the documentary film Watching them Die last September. Despite of several attempts to divide the movement and the discredit campaigns against Ayotzinapa students and relatives of the disappeared ones, the movements cannot be stopped, and as Felipe de la Cruz said in an interview “there has been little advance by having an international and independent monitoring over government’s investigations”. The rest depends on us.
Aurelia Gómez Unamuno
Remembering September, for many reasons
September 23, 2016
The month of September is very meaningful for Mexican history. It is celebrated not only the Independence, but also on September 19th it is celebrated the anniversary of the earthquake of 1985, after which civil society demonstrated to be more efficient and humane than government’s institutions in an uneasy time and an emergency situation. Today it is the anniversary of the first modern guerrilla uprising in Mexico. On September 23th of 1965, a group of teachers, a physician and campesinos took over the military headquarters of Madera as a way of demanding social justice. Also this Monday, September 26th, is the second anniversary of the disappearance of 43 students of Ayotzinapa. Unfortunately, there are not only 43, but more than 28,000 families in Mexico that since 2006 are searching for their beloved ones.
Families of disappeared have to face not only a big tragedy in their lives, feelings of emptiness and restless efforts to find their beloved ones, they also have to face a labyrinth of bureaucratic procedures, re-victimization and mistreatment by authorities and even by human rights government’s organisms. For these reasons, organizations of families of disappeared along with human rights NGO’s demand:
1) Passing the bill on General Law Against Enforced Disappearance, which is aimed to typify as felony the enforced disappearance and modifying the law for being compatible with international law.
2) Passing the reform initiative on General Law of Victims, based on the blueprint elaborated by relatives of disappeared (document delivered to legislative committees of Mexican Senate on September 14, 2016), which more inclusive and defends victim’s rights. No to the fast track promoted by PRI
3) Approving the package of 22 law reforms’ initiative aimed to protect victim’s rights and facilitating the efficient application of General Law Against Enforced Disappearance, and General Law of Victims, which will assist as well following investigations and prosecute persons and institutions responsible for these crimes.
Support their demands by signing this petition, which will be sent to Mexican Senate and Legislative Committees, Ministry of the Interior, Attorney General Office, Human Rights National Commission, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Presidency of the Republic.
Because families and friend love them they search for them,
Celebrate Solidarity, Denounce Impunity and Demand A Change
Petition “Stop Impunity, Violence, Torture and Enforced Disappearance in Mexico” chn.ge/2ckfDjj
Colectivo de Mujeres Luchadoras/ Justice For Ayoztinapa Grand Rapids/ Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos AC
Recordando Septiembre por tantas razones
El mes de septiembre es significativo para la historia de México. No solamente se celebra la Independencia, sino también el 19 de septiembre es el aniversario del terremoto de 1985, tras el cual la sociedad civil demostró mayor eficiencia y humanidad en situación de crisis que el propio gobierno y sus instituciones. Hoy es el aniversario del Asalto al Cuartel Madera, durante el cual maestros, un médico y campesinos comenzaron la lucha armada de la segunda mitad del siglo XX en busca de justicia social. Este 26 de septiembre es el segundo aniversario de la desaparición de los estudiantes de Ayotzinapa, aunque amentablemente no son solo 43 sino más de 28,000 familias que buscan desde 2006 a sus seres queridos.
Los familiares de desaparecidos no solamente tienen que enfrentar una gran tragedia en sus vidas, sentimientos de vacío y esfuerzos incansables para encontrar a sus seres queridos, también tienen que enfrentar un laberinto burocrático, revictimización y maltrato de autoridades y de organizaciones gubernamentales. Por esta razón las organizaciones de familiares de desaparecidos, junto con ONG’s de derechos humanos, están planteando:
1) La aprobación de la propuesta de Ley General Contra la Desaparición Forzada, cuyo objetivo es tipificar el delito de desaparición forzada a nivel federal y en concordancia con el derecho internacional.
2) Una reforma a la Ley General de Víctimas que tenga como base una perspectiva integral y de defensa de los derechos de las víctimas y de los familiares de desaparecidos como aparece en el documento entregado a Comisiones Legislativas del Senado el 14 de septiembre 2016. No a una reforma fast track que desestima las necesidades de los familiares de desaparecidos.
3) Aprobar la iniciativa de reforma de miscelánea en materia de víctimas (22 leyes) encausada a proteger los derechos de las víctimas para facilitar su aplicación tanto de la Ley General de Victimas como la Ley General Contra la Desaparición Forzada.
Apoya las demandas de los familiares de desaparecidos firmando esta petición que será entregada al Senado Mexicano y las Comisiones Legislativas involucradas, la Secretaría de Gobernación, la Procuraduría General de la República, la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos, la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores y la Presidencia de la República.
Porque sus familias y amigos los aman, por eso los buscan
Celebra la solidaridad, denuncia la impunidad y demanda un cambio
Petition “Stop Impunity, Violence, Torture and Enforced Disappearance in Mexico” chn.ge/2ckfDjj
Colectivo de Mujeres Luchadoras/ Justice For Ayoztinapa Grand Rapids/Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos AC
The Struggle for Accountability: Mexican Government and the Special Monitoring Mechanism
June 21, 2016
On May 19, the relatives of the 43 disappeared students and their lawyers (Vidulfo Rosas from Tlachinollan and Mario Patrón from Center ProDH) met with the chancellor Claudia Ruiz Massieu, along with Roberto Campa Cifrián (Human Rights Deputy Secretary/ Secretary of the Interior), and Miguel Ruíz Cabañas Izquierdo (Deputy Secretary of Human Rights and Multilateral Affairs/ Secretary of Foreign Affairs). The meeting was held 3 days before Mexican government had to provide accountability to the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington, after GIEI delivered its second Report of Ayotzinapa’s case. It must be noted that during the official presentation of the report, any authority attended the event last April 30th at the Rural Normal School Isidro Burgos in Ayotzinapa.
The families of the 43 disappeared students submitted to the Foreign Affairs chancellor a very clear petition: to sign and approve a Special Monitoring Mechanism in which, consistently with recommendations made by IACHR, Mexican government agrees to present periodic reports of conducted investigations, and to provide conditions for special rapporteurs to visit the country on regular basis. The Special Monitoring Mechanism is aimed to provide accountability and assure to follow up different lines of investigations. For example, the searching of the disappeared students, operations held by public forces and organized crime during Iguala attacks, the drug trafficking route, as well as severe anomalies in official inquiries such as alteration of the crime scene, destroyed and planted evidence by authorities.
Even though these demands seem to be crystal clear, political scenario turns out to be very complex in which different forces and actors play. On the one hand, relatives of the 43 students do not trust Mexican authorities will be able to manage investigations with transparency. With reason, families are reticent to government’s speech, not only because Mexican authorities have a long practice of corruption and injustice, but because last two reports of Ayotzinapa pointed out that there were plenty inconsistencies in the investigation. Moreover, reports highlight that systematically authorities have been an obstacle to transparency and accountability, particularly by covering up military operations in headquarters of Iguala. However, it seems relatives of the disappeared students do not have many options but to keep their struggle demanding truth and justice, facing criticism, discredit campaigns orchestrated by media and hidden government’s agenda, as well as they have been dealing with authorities’ disdain and condescension.
On the other hand, the Mexican government has been pushed by global demonstrations and international pressure to respond to these demands, and it has slightly shifted its official discourse also incurring in many contradictions. Official statements have been inconsistent varying from accepting IACHR recommendations, not without grumbling, discrediting GIEI’s work, claiming Mexican sovereignty above human rights international bodies, recycling the “historical truth”, as well as mimicking human rights language. These incongruities sometimes cross the boundary from being unfortunate to being ridiculous, such as the Interior Minister Osorio Chong’s statement: “GIEI and PGR coincided” (as Francisco Goldman reports in his great article bit.ly/1Uda9GQ ), or even Peña Nieto saying “We all are Ayotzinapa”, just after he demanded to the families of the 43 students to “get over it”.
However, despite all this “gran relajo mexicano” (great Mexican buffoonery), the presence of GIEI in Mexico for two terms was a great achievement of relatives of the 43 students and worldwide supporters. GIEI’s two reports uncovered authorities’ complicity in destroying, altering and planting evidence. The latest scandal puts in the eye of the storm Tomás Zerón de Lucio, director of the Criminal Investigation Agency, which is a branch of PGR (Attorney General of the Republic’s Office). Tomás Zerón was found to be in the river San Juan, one day before authorities discovered human remains in bags and presented them as the student’s remains. It is important to note that Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, who started working in Ayotzinapa case at the request of relatives of the disappeared students, does not endorse origins and conditions of collected remains in the bags.
Therefore, the credibility of official investigations is highly questionable; probably it has always been in people’s mind as manipulation of the crime scene, planted evidence, use of torture for interrogation, and even staged apprehensions broadcasted in “real time” has given PGR a non-reliable reputation. Cases such as the prison escape and recapture of El Chapo Guzmán, the case against Florance Cassez, and the murder of the infant Paulette Gebara Farah are some examples in which media, performance, and production of “evidence” have taken place. It is worthwhile to analyze that in these cases, there is not only a fissure between reality and official’s version (i.e. documents, reports and “live” video recording); but also the need for producing and reenacting “reality”, fixing and arranging it for the purposes of the elite in power. This is not only about the opposition between printed or written culture over oral culture (with all its variants and layers related to class, race, gender, colonial or progress imposed models), it is also about the production of the legitimacy of authoritarianism.
Discredit campaigns, revictimization, production of reality seem to be the formula for solving social unrest, instead of dialogue, transparency, and accountability. In this sense, Mexican government’s response to recent social movements is not very different from 1960’s, even before Tlatelolco massacre in 1968. In these cases, Mexican government has acted with indiscriminate repression and subsequently it has denied it. What it is different this time is that evidence for altering evidence, paradoxically production of evidence is the evidence of impunity and authoritarianism, has been provided by external actors giving international visibility to this severe crisis.
Nonetheless, despite the removal of Murillo Karam from his post as Attorney General Prosecutor (PGR) after the “historical truth” has been demonstrated to be a lie, and despite current internal investigations at PGR; there is still a long way so it can be said that official investigations are trustworthy. Therefore, the struggle for truth and justice has not ended with the delivery of Ayotzinapa reports. On the contrary, the battle has just started, and it is fair to say that meetings between relatives of the 43 and Mexican government are facing a sensitive phase. General agreements have been possible, at least in government’s speech, but in regard specificities, when and how, authorities have not been able to compromise.
Furthermore, Mexico is experiencing a very tense situation including the growing social unrest particularly in education sphere (students of National Polytechnic Institute and teachers of CNTE), government’s repression against protesters but particularly against teachers in Oaxaca and Chiapas, and the financial crisis of IACHR, who can push the government to provide accountability. In this context, teachers’ movement and its outcomes are closely related to the 43 families of the disappeared students because those students were potential teachers because educational reforms target Rural Normal Schools education system to be dismantled, and because teachers’ movement, particularly in Guerrero, has been solidary with relatives of the 43 students.
After last week’s apprehension of some leaders of the teacher’s movement, and the indiscriminate repression in Nochixtlán Oaxaca, massive protests in Mexico and some cities in the United States took place. It seems they are showing that teacher’s demands are widely supported, and that repression and assassination is not the way for dealing with opposition to Peña Nieto’s education reform. Certainly the outcomes of government’s decision to dialogue with teachers or dismiss their demands with violence will be a signal of government’s justness or disgrace, and definitely, it will have an impact on the trustworthiness of government’s response to the Special Monitoring Mechanism for Ayotzinapa case. During the meeting on May 19, one Mexico was confronted by the other. The Mexico of governors, oligarchy, and political lineage was questioned by the deep-rooted Mexico, “los de a pie”, the afflicted ones, the ones in grief and sorrow, but also the ones that do not fear anymore.
Parents of 43 disappeared students celebrate a victory for the Special Monitoring Mechanism, July 29, 2016, Washington DC outside Inter American Commission on Human Rights. (no English subtitles, sorry)
Stop Impunity in Mexico: Support Special Monitoring Mechanism: chn.ge/1rsMgi
Vidulfo Rosales, lawyer of the 43 families of disappeared students, comments after the meeting of May 19, 2016 (Spanish only).
GIEI second report, the “Historical Truth”, and Mexican Government’s refusal to extend investigations
April 15, 2016
After massive demonstrations around the world supporting demands of truth and justice for the disappeared students of Ayotzinapa, the Mexican government was pushed to accept recommendations made by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. These recommendations included, among others, an independent study by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI in Spanish). The presence of an independent group was welcomed by the relatives of disappeared students, NGO’s and the public in general due to the lack of trust in Mexican authorities for providing a transparent and truthful report that would lead to solving the case, and eventually to prosecute the responsible individuals and officials involved in these crimes.
It is known that abrupt and intransigent statements made by former General Prosecutor of the Republic Jesús Murillo Karam in November 2014, known as the “historical truth”, were challenged by GIEI report:
- There was no evidence of burning 43 bodies in a couple of hours in Cocula garbage dump. Remains analyzed by Innsbruck University are not conclusive, and EAAF (Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team) does not endorse where these samples were taken from (EAAF’s Report only Spanish: bit.ly/1SZYfv6 ).
- There are several anomalies in official inquiries that washed away crucial evidence such as videos and radio communications between police and army during the several shootings in 9 different places in Iguala.
- Other lines of investigation were closed such as the drug route from Iguala to Chicago, as well as the role of the army headquarters and the team C4, which coordinated actions taken against students and bystanders that tragic night.
- The attack between September 26 and 27 of 2014 was increasingly massive, indiscriminate (students and bystanders were hunted), disproportionate, and coordinated.
“… the operation was undertaken with an inadequate and disproportionate use of force in the presence of numerous witnesses in the centre of the town. This probably has to do with impunity with which the perpetrators acted and which the authors felt, but also with some kind of high-level objective that justified any type of violence, however indiscriminate and evident, and the urgency with which was carried out.” (Ayotzinapa Report, 16) For reports and NGO's see: http://bit.ly/1WvGUjh
After GIEI’s report was released (Aug 2015), Mexican government’s response has been contradictory. Murillo Karam was removed from his post as General Prosecutor, and Mexican authorities addressed Inter-American Commission of Human Rights’ recommendations. However, the ghost of the “historical truth”, meaning government’s authoritarianism and impunity, remains alive in the form of a discredit campaign unleashed against members of the GIEI, Juan Méndez (Special Rapporteur of United Nations Human Rights Office), and relatives of the disappeared students.
While families of 43 disappeared students of Ayotzinapa, and the relatives of more than 30, 000 disappeared individuals in the last 10 years are looking for their beloved ones, Mexican authorities not only seem to be incompetent, they are careless and even condescending. Mexican government has been neglected to define by law the statute of enforced disappearance, and it has delayed approving the General Law Against Torture and Enforced Disappearance presented by Comite Cerezo and 160 NGO’s. See Petitions and Donations in this blog: bit.ly/1qLNs0Z
The second term of GIEI’s stay in Mexico will finish on April 30th, and Mexican government is rejecting to extend their stay for a third period. While the works of Truth Commissions and in this case the GIEI usually are limited to certain time, for relatives of disappeared and activists supporting them extending GIEI’s stay is the only way that conducted investigations will remain objective and will provide the truth.
If you feel sympathetic to these demands:
- Please record a short video and send it to Madres y Padres de Ayotzinapa bit.ly/1Sfcmz2
- Inform yourself and sign petitions on our blog: bit.ly/1qLNs0Z
- Extend Investigations of GIEI in Mexico about Ayoztinapa by Colectivo de Mujeres Luchadoras chn.ge/1T1PujW
- GIEIStay43 by Antonio Tizapa father of José Antonio Tizapa Legideño, relatives of 43 students, and activists are demanding extending the investigation of GIEI in Mexico. www.change.org/p/staygiei43#delivered-to
Why would a State eliminate their students? Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School, Education Reform and Mexico’s Impunity
September 17, 2015
Last year on September 26, 90 students of Ayotzinapa Rural School traveled to Iguala for collecting money and finding transportation to participate in a demonstration in Mexico City. Every year students and activists have been marching from Tlatelolco to the main Square, Zócalo, for remembering the massacre that the Mexican government perpetuated against a peaceful demonstration on October 2nd of 1968. This annual protest not only has been maintaining collective memory alive, it also has been serving as a political avenue against government’s impunity and a calling for justice for several causes demanded by organizations and civil society.
In two buses, Ayotzinapa students arrived to Iguala with the intention of taking more buses to transport their peers to the protest. Even though, for some, it is controversial the fact of taking buses either peacefully or by force, it must be said that it is a common practice since students do not have the means for commuting to the protests. On that evening, a small group of students was left on the highway, while another one dispersed in the city for collecting money. This small group convinced a bus driver to borrow the bus after dropping passengers at the station. The students aboard the bus peacefully, however the driver locked them once they arrived to the bus station. The students were rescued by their peers and left the bus station taking three more buses. In the course of their departure from the city they were followed and attacked by the police.
Even though students were unarmed, survivor’s testimonies report that they were shot several times highlighting that one of the shooting lasted around 20 minutes. However the attack was perpetrated against the students who took the buses from the station, it was massive, increasingly violent and it was indiscriminate. It lasted three hours, and took place in 9 different places in Iguala. Surveillance and participation of four different police squads, local, state, federal and judicial police, military and three paramilitary groups/ organized crime, points out this must have been necessary an operation coordinated by someone.
“The level of intervention of the different police forces in the various crime scenes and the attacks at different times as portrayed in the documents, testimonies, and expert opinions evaluated by IGIE clearly shows there was a coordination and chain of command in order to carry out such actions.” (Ayotzinapa Report 14)
Survivors witnessed how the police were taking students from one of the buses. Currently 43 students are disappeared. Another group of students and teachers arrived to protect the crime scene, when an unidentified group of men descended from a car and opened fire on students, teachers and bystanders. The survivors, some of them critically injured, arrived to a local hospital that denied medical attention. Moreover military officials came to the hospital, and instead of providing help, officials threatened them, took their belongings, forced them to get undress, took them pictures and told them that’s what they deserved for being rebels. The students decided to leave the hospital and find help among neighbors. From survivors’ testimonies it can be conclude that police, organized crime and army were hunting students that night in a coordinated operation that stands out for being disproportionate:
“… the operation was undertaken with an inadequate and disproportionate use of force in the presence of numerous witnesses in the centre of the town. This probably has to do with impunity with which the perpetrators acted and which the authors felt, but also with some kind of high-level objective that justified any type of violence, however indiscriminate and evident, and the urgency with which was carried out.” (Ayotzinapa Report 16)
The outcomes of this attack are: 43 students disappeared, six people murdered, three of them bystanders, and the other three were students, one of them with visible signs of torture. 40 people were injured, five of them were students in very critical conditions, one of them is currently unconscious, another student has had several surgeries for reconstructing his jaw, another one lost four fingers and the rest are still recovering from gun wounds.
Why would the police attack unarmed citizens with such ruthless? Why would a government not protect their students? Such violence can only be explained, if it is possible to find an explanation, when the target of violence is not considered anymore a citizen, neither a human being. Nonetheless, calling this a barbarian act, which indeed it is, would lead us to assume that these events only can happen in undeveloped countries, or that violence is part of the human condition, blurring out the reasons and the logic behind violence, behind state violence.
Government’s first response to this tragic night was disassociating its responsibility saying it was an isolated case of corruption between drug trafficking and local authorities. On November 7th the authorities sustained the students were killed and incinerated by the local cartel Guerreros unidos, pretending to stop investigations and close the case declaring that that was the “historical truth”. Authorities were insensitive to parents’ calling for justice, officials altered and destroyed evidence, disregarded other lines of investigation that would lead to the search of students alive, and, moreover, they covered military participation on these events by denying access to interview members of the armed forces headquarters in Iguala. Recent report made by Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE), and supported by the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, stated that there is no evidence of incineration of 43 people in the garbage dump of Cocula. The report also concludes that authorities’ investigation presents systematic anomalies and presumable there is a connection between the police attack and the transportation route of heroin to the United States.
“That is to say, the [drug] business that is carried out in the town of Iguala could explain the extremely violent reaction and the massive character of the attack, its duration in time and even the follow-up attack against the Los Avispones soccer team, as in this case there was a bus that had been commandeered by the students which had not been stopped. In spite all of this, this line of investigation has not been explored.” (Ayotzinapa Report 17)
One may conclude that there was something precious in one of the buses the students took by mistake, and by all means, police, military, and organized crime should detain students from taking away.
There are many questions to be answered, anyways, what it is clear is that the attack and disappearance of Ayotzinapa’s students has brought into light many layers of violence and a severe crisis of human rights in Mexico. Where are the 43 students? Who are the bodies found in the mass graves in Iguala? Where are the 26, 000 people disappeared since 2007 according to official reports? I must highlight that AFADEM, an NGO of relatives of disappeared people, reports 50, 000 enforced disappearance took place since 2007, which is more than the ones reported during the dictatorship in Argentina. Why the government has protected by a large effort military participation in different operation such as Tlataya, Tanhuato, Apatzingán and Ayotzinapa among others? Why students have been target of state repression, not only, but particularly in the state of Guerrero?
Analyst’s reactions to IGIE report have focused on the collapse of government’s investigation and the connections between organized crime and local authorities, paying little attention to the participation of the Centre of Control, Command, Communications and Computation (C4). As Rafael Landerreche points out, C4 is an organism that presumably coordinates emergency calls, however from Iguala’s events, participation of C4 resembles the function and modus operandi of another organisms such as Basis of Combined Operations (Bases de Operaciones Mixtas BOM) during the Zapatista upraising in Chiapas in 1990’s, the Federal Security Dictatorate (Dirección Federal de Seguridad DFS) during the 1960’s and 70’s, and Research Division for the Prevention of Crime (División de Investigaciones para la Prevención a la Delincuencia DIPD) during the 1980’s. All of them have served as counterinsurgent intelligence agencies for controlling and repressing social movements, political dissidents, as well as guerrilla groups.
Even though there are strong connections between organized crime and local authorities, on one hand this is not an isolated case in Mexico as government’s version intends to present, and on the other hand, this explanation serves as a smokescreen of another very sensitive issue regarding the stigmatization of students, political activity and resistance to educational reform promoted by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Underneath drug cartel violence and government corruption relies another battle for dismantling people’s labor, education, identity and self-determination, territorial and environmental rights. Political reforms such as labor, education, energetic and financial reforms, were aggressively implemented by Peña Nieto during his first years of administration. His agenda was to liberalize the market, attract foreign investments, and privatize natural resources. Nonetheless, civil society, including independent unions, indigenous communities and human rights organizations, have been opposing to these reforms and denouncing repression, human rights violations and targeted repression against activists, journalists and indigenous community leaders.
There are a number of controversies over the reform package delivered by EPN and supported by the three top parties. However I would like to focus on the education reform because it is close related to Ayotzinapa students. The already approved education reform aims to implement a homogeneous model based on global market needs putting aside specific regional and community needs and practices, including self organization, self sustainable projects, language and culture of “pueblos originarios”. What it is at stake here, are two models of education: one focused on market and competition, the other one based on self governance, community bounds, solidarity and social justice.
Founded in 1926, Rural Normal School’s education system was an achievement after the Mexican Revolution and it was part of a national project that stated by law education had to be free for all citizens. Rural normal schools were boarding schools meant to form students coming from indigenous and campesino backgrounds that would serve as teachers and leaders in the rural areas, the most poor and illiterate population:
“[Rural Normal Schools] included regulations such as accepting students that came from indigenous and/or campesino backgrounds, the development of a cooperative system, and promoting an identity based on the bonds with crop growing and the encouragement of social leadership.” (Padilla 55)
For these reasons education was envisioned as whole, enhancing collective learning, community bounds, and development of self-sustainable projects. Students not only had to study, they had to participate in collective tasks such as growing crops, constructing school buildings, roads and helping the rural communities at large including literacy campaigns. Students also had the right to participate and making decisions about the curricula, and the school was self-governed by an honor code the students had developed.
“[Rural Normal Schools] promoted a self-governance system, in which students had a relevant sway in key aspects of the institution governance. Through committees such as Honor and Justice Committee, general assemblies, especial commissions, and the Technic and Administrative Board, students had influence in many school regulations as well as they also participated in productive activities.” (Padilla 55)
Through learning by doing and working close with the communities, political activism was part of their daily life, and it was not difficult to be aware of social injustice that surrounded their world, themselves emerged from a marginalized and deprived population. Student movements and political activism has been very vibrant in Ayoztinapa and other rural normal schools throughout Mexico and for this reason rural normal schools have been stigmatized as seedbed of guerrillas. Nonetheless, we should remember that Lucio Cabañas, graduated from Ayotzinapa, was a teacher who defended people’s rights and was pushed to the armed struggle after Atoyac’s massacre in 1967, once democratic avenues were closed under the monopoly regime of Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
Nevertheless, dismantling public education system and rural normal schools did not start with Peña Nieto’s reform, and it can be said current education reform is completing a persistent washout of public education rights along seven decades. During the presidency of Ávila Camacho in the 1940’s budget cuts lead to the closure of at least 30 rural normal schools out of 46 that were functioning in the 1930’s. The same policy ruled the shutdown of dormitories and dinning center of National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico City, preventing poor and countryside students from having access to college education in the 1940’s. During the 1960’s student movements asking for public education reform were repressed and smashed after Tlatelolco and Corpus Christi massacres in 1968 and 1971. Even though Mexican government founded public universities in Mexico City such as Metropolitan Autonomous University in 1974, National Pedagogic University in 1975, and more recently Autonomous University of Mexico City in 2001, access to public universities is still very challenging and every year increases the movement of rejected students demanding their right to public education.
Among young population affected by education reform, young people from rural areas bear the brunt, since rural schools are the only available option to acquire formal education. Currently there are only 17 rural normal schools in Mexico, which represents 3.5 per cent of national normal schools. In last 8 years it is observed an increasing tendency to privatize normal schools, which is preventing students from poor backgrounds having access to education (Navarro Gallegos 74). In 2012 Ayotzinapa students’ demands to the government included:
1) increasing food stipend from 2 dollars to 2.97 dollars (35 to 50 Mexican pesos)
2) increasing enrollment from 140 to 170
3) guarantee an position as teachers in the rural elementary public school system (Navarro Gallegos 72).
The government of Guerrero did not approve their petitions and, moreover, it responded using public force to disband the demonstration killing two students.
Why would a State eliminate their students? Who would like to destroy “el porvenir”, the world to come? It seems there are no answers to this question because it makes no sense this question itself. As I pointed out, probably the answer is because they are part of a population considered unnecessary, dispensable, bare life in Agamben terms; as if their lives wouldn’t matter.
After massive demonstrations in Mexico and around the world, supporting Ayotzinapa students and the relatives of the disappeared ones, Mexican government was pushed to accept the recommendations made by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts. However this is only the beginning of another battle to assure these recommendations do not stay on someone’s desk. Moreover, relatives and peers of the disappeared students will have to overcome authority’s strategies for diminishing NGO’s demands and independent reports. Yesterday, General Prosecutor Office announced the identity of a second student presumably found in the river of Cocula, after University of Innsbruck run DNA tests. Relatives of the disappeared students do not accept this statement since the government’s reports are not reliable. There are a number of questions regarding the place and methodology for collecting the remains’ samples, and authorities transparency for conducting the investigation. It is crucial to establish what happened that night and where are the students, if they were killed how, where and by whom. However, it is also important to follow the thread of systematic state violence against social movements that are challenging authoritarianism in Mexico, connections between organized crime and authorities, and implementation of laws that actually support victims of violence, and provide justice and accountability. In the meanwhile, families are still waiting for their beloved ones.
IGIE, Ayotzinapa Report, September 2015, media.wix.com/ugd/3a9f6f_e1df5a84680a4a8a969bd45453da1e31.pdf
Landerreche, Rafael. “No es el basurero, ni el quinto autobús; es el C4”, La Jornada, September 12, 2015, www.jornada.unam.mx/2015/09/12/opinion/018a2pol
Navarro Gallegos, César. “Herida abierta y jornada sin descanso por la vida”, Desde las trincheras de Ayotzinapa: la defensa por la educación y la vida de los hijos del pueblo. Informe XXI, Tixtla: Tlachinollan Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña, Junio 2015, pp. 60-82.
Padilla, Tanalís. “Educar para defender los derechos del pueblo: Génesis de la lucha de la Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa”, Desde las trincheras de Ayotzinapa: la defensa por la educación y la vida de los hijos del pueblo. Informe XXI, Tixtla: Tlachinollan Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña, Junio 2015,p 59.
 The article was published in Spanish, and all quotes are my translation to English.
April 30, 2015
The US government is funding and training the repressive Mexican military and police, and enforcing oppressive economic policies. The results are disastrous. The Caravana43 is building bonds between the people of Mexico and the United States on the issue of systemic violence by the police against its population. Please consider signing this petition!
April 4, 2015
Yesterday Eduardo Galeano a Uruguayan activist and intellectual passed away. Please see links below.
1) Written about Ayotzinapa:
2) Semblance of life, about Zapatismo:
3) On the technology of terror and the indignant:
Gobierno mexicano insiste en que el relator de ONU (UN) miente al declarar que la práctica de la tortura es generalizada
Opinion article: torture, enforced disappearance, stereotypes about Mexico in relation to death (this through the filming of a James Bond movie in the historic center):
Comunicado EZLN: “Ante la catástrofe los mismos métodos” sobre catástrofe que se cierne, críticas severas a sistema político, pero también a modos de combatir desde la oposición, muy interesante. El enlace es un reporte, pero hay un enlace para leer el comunicado original.
“In light of catastrophe the same methods”–about looming catastrophe, a severe criticism of the political system, but observations on ways to combat the opposition. The link is a report, but there is also a link to read the original statement.
“La larga marcha”
Laborers from San Quintín: Exploitation of indigenous communities, sexual harassment and subhuman conditions.
Survivors of the Ayotzinapa attack:
Edgar Andrés Vargas: www.jornada.unam.mx/2015/03/14/politica/011n1pol
Contra la tortura: El gobierno mexicano no reconoce la tortura como una práctica regular del ejército y policía, y desconoce las recomendaciones de CED de la ONU y la CIDH. Las declaraciones durante las últimas dos semanas han confirmado el carácter autoritario, testarudo y corrupto del gobierno. El relator de la ONU recibió presiones para minimizar el peso que tiene la práctica de la tortura en México. No es sorprendente esta acción de intimidación al relator de la ONU, anteriormente ha hecho lo mismo con las declaraciones de José Mújica, ex presidente de Uruguay.
Combating Torture: The Mexican government does not recognize torture as a regular practice of the army and police, and ignores the recommendations of UN, the CED, and the Commission. The statements for the past two weeks have confirmed the authoritarian, stubborn and corrupt nature of the government. The UN rapporteur was pressured to minimize the publicity of the practice of torture in Mexico.
CIDH convocó al estado mexicano a participar en 5 audiencias temáticas bajo los rubros de: 1) situación de derechos humanos en el estado de Guerrero, 2) las desapariciones forzadas, 3) violencia contra las mujeres, 4) reforma energética relacionada con los derechos económicos, sociales y culturales, y 5) acceso a la justicia por parte de migrantes.
The commission summoned the Mexican state to participate in 5 thematic hearings under the headings of: 1) human rights situation in the state of Guerrero, 2) Enforced disappearances, 3) violence against women, 4) energy reform related to economic , social and cultural, and 5) access to justice for migrants.
Attorney General’s Office (PGR / Prosecutor’s Office) considers that no crime against humanity in the disappearance of the 43.
April 7, 2015
Please consider signing this petition demanding a halt in military aid to the Mexican government.
#StopMilitaryAidToMexico, call your local congressman or congresswoman and ask them stop sending money to Mexico for military aid. This not a war against drugs it is a war against the people of Mexico!
Video of the presentation of the Faculty of Medicine about the scientific evidence of the investigation of the PGR.
March 24th, 2015
“En diciembre de 2014, el doctor en ciencias e investigador del Instituto de Física de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Jorge Montemayor, junto con el maestro en ciencias, Pablo Ugalde, presentaron un estudio con el cual desmienten la versión de la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) en torno al caso Ayotzinapa, en donde aseguran que lo dicho por Jesús Murillo Karam carece de fundamentos y evidencia científica para ser considerado como verdad.”
In December of 2014, the doctor of sciences and investigator of the Institute of Physics in the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Jorge Montemayor, along witht he master in sciences, Pablo Ugalde, presented a study in which they deny the version of the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR) in turn with the Ayotzinapa case, wherein they assure that what was said by Jesís Murillo Karam, lacks sufficient foundation and scientific evidence to be considered the truth.
March 16, 2015
“The crusading host of Mexico’s top-rated national news radio program has been fired in a case that many fear is a blow to freedom of expression.
MVS Radio said Sunday that Carmen Aristegui was removed for challenging the firing of two reporters who had misused the company’s name by suggesting it was a sponsor of MexicoLeaks, a website meant to reveal leaked information on corruption in Mexico.”
March 10, 2015
Parents of Ayotzinapa students assemble outside Televisa.
March 9, 2015
“Todos los cuerpos policiales torturan en México”
All Police (branches) Torture in Mexico
“Juan Méndez presenta este lunes en Ginebra su examen de México, fruto de una visita realizada entre el 21 de abril al 2 de mayo pasado. El resultado es demoledor. “La tortura y los malos tratos en la detención son generalizados y ocurren en un contexto de impunidad”, indica el informe, adelantado por EL PAÍS. La entrevista se hizo por teléfono. Méndez, en la habitación de su hotel, estaba preparando su intervención ante Naciones Unidas. Su tono fue siempre tranquilo.”
Juan Mendez will present on Monday, in Geneva, his examination of Mexico, the result of the visit from 21 April to 2 May. The result is devastating. “Torture and ill-treatment in detention are widespread and occur in a context of impunity,” reports published in advance by El País. The interview was conducted by telephone. Mendez, in his hotel room, was preparing his speech to the United Nations. His tone was calm the entire time.
February 26, 2015
Committee On Enforced Disappearances
“El Comité de la ONU contra las Desapariciones Forzadas (CED) está integrado por diez expertos independientes y supervisa el cumplimiento de la Convención Internacional para la protección de todas las personas contra las desapariciones forzadas.
El CED se encarga de revisar los informes que presentan de manera periódica los Estados Partes sobre las medidas que han tomado para implementar las disposiciones de dicha Convención. Después de esta revisión y de haber examinado también los informes alternativos de la sociedad civil, el Comité expresa sus preocupaciones y recomendaciones al Estado Parte en forma de ‘observaciones finales’.
México será revisado por primera vez por el Comité de la ONU contra las Desapariciones Forzadas (CED, por sus siglas en inglés) que se reunirá en Ginebra del 2 al 13 de febrero.”
“The UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) is composed of ten independent experts and monitors compliance with the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
The CED is responsible for reviewing the reports submitted periodically by State Parties on the measures they have taken to implement the suggestions of the Convention. After this review and after having examined the alternative reports of civil society, the Committee expressed its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of ‘concluding observations.’
Mexico will be reviewed for the first time by the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED, IT’S acronym in English) to be held in Geneva from 2 to 13 February.”
Enforced Disappearances, Interview with Rainer Huhle
“Video Mensaje de los padres Normalistas con subtitulos en ingles”
“Chilpancingo, 28 de enero de 2015. Policías Federales detuvieron a estudiantes de la Escuela Superior de Educación Física (Esef), cuando pretendieron realizar labores de boteo en la caseta de Palo Blanco, en la Autopista del Sol. Los 16 detenidos fueron transladados a las instalaciones de la Policía Federal en esta ciudad. Al poco tiempo, llegaron estudiantes y maestros de la CETEG, para protestar contra las detenciones. Después de hora y media, los jóvenes fueron liberados.” “Chilpancigno, January 28, 2015. Federal Police seized students of the Superior School of Physical Education (ESEF), when they tried to gather funds from a toll of Palo Blanco, on the Autopista del Sol. The 16 detainees were were transported to Federal Police facilities in the city. Not long after, students and teachers from CETEG [Coordinadora Estatal de Trabajadores de la Educación en Guerrero, or State Coordination of Worker in Education ins Guerrero] to protest the arrests. After an hour and a half, the youths were released.” www.jornada.unam.mx/ultimas/2015/01/28/detienen-federales-a-normalistas-en-guerrero/
Public statement made by the parents and families of the disappeared normalist students on January 27th. “Ante la falta de justicia y verdad en México, los familiares acudiremos a las instancias internacionales. Por ello, en breve una delegación de nosotros irá ante el Comité sobre la Desaparición Forzada de las Naciones Unidas a denunciar lo que ocurre en México. Asimismo, no dejamos de lado que la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos ha designado un grupo de expertos que a la brevedad deberá comenzar a realizar su verificación técnica de la investigación realizada por México; esta revisión es indispensable pues sabemos que encontrarán múltiples irregularidades. Al pueblo de México le pedimos que no nos dejen solos y que entiendan nuestra lucha. Frente a un Gobierno Federal que tiene prisa por cerrar el caso Ayotzinapa, reivindicamos nuestro derecho a dudar de autoridades que una y otra vez han fabricado expedientes para salir de crisis que muestran su ineficacia. Exigimos también respeto a nuestra dignidad pues los tiempos de las víctimas no son los tiempos de los políticos. ” “In the absence of justice and truth in Mexico, we, the families will seek international support. Therefore, in short, a delegated few of us will go forward the Committee on Enforced Disappearance of the United Nations to denounce what is happening in Mexico. Furthermore, we do not disregard that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has appointed a group of experts who will soon begin to realize a process of technical verification of the investigation done by Mexico; this review is indispensable because we know they will find many inconsistencies. To the people of Mexico we ask that you not leave us alone and understand our fight. We are facing a Federal Government that is in a hurry to close the Ayotzinapa case, we claim our right to question our authorities who time and time again have fabricated stories to expedite the closure of this case, which has caused a crisis in exposing its inefficacy. We also demand respect to our dignity as the times of the victims are not the times of the politicians.”
“No podemos distraernos: sí hay solución para Ayotzinapa y no está en el campo criminal sino en el de la justicia social y la Seguridad Humana. Llevamos demasiado tiempo arrojando tinta sobre las cenizas, llenando cárceles de presuntos culpables, elucubrando sin evidencia. Mientras tanto la sociedad se divide más y los agentes del Estado junto con algunos empresarios y periodistas sistémicos trabajan para normalizar la desaparición forzada de activistas y defensores sociales como castigo ejemplar.” “We cannot be distracted: there is a solution for Ayotzinapa, and it’s not in the criminal sphere, rather in that of social justice and Human Security. Too long we’ve thrown ink on the ashes, filling jails with the presumed guilty, making assumptions without evidence. In the meantime society is dividing more and the State agents along with some businesses and systemic news reporters and broadcasters work to normalize the forced disappearance of social activists and defenders, to set an exemplary precedent.” aristeguinoticias.com/2701/mexico/plan-cicatriz-ayotzinapa-articulo-de-lydia-cacho/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook
PGR Announces the closing of the Ayotzinapa case on January 27th.
Testimony of “El Cepillo,” supposedly responsible for the murder and incineration of the 42 Normalist students.