Just before the one-year anniversary of the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, relatives of the disappeared have not ceased their efforts to have the events be clarified.
In a meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) which took place on 24 September in Mexico City, the relatives of the disappeared presented eight demands for the investigation. According to testimony from Vidulfo Rosales, lawyer for the families, “at the meeting there was a cross-dialogue that did not lead to agreement with the demands of either parties and that in fact at the end became rocky.” Though the presidential spokesperson assured that the meeting with the parents of the disappeared “took place cordially,” relatives assessed it as having been “unproductive and violent.” The legal representative of the families added that “upon ending the meeting with the president, the families suffered attacks on the part of the security forces.” Furthermore, the behavior of EPN and the Federal Attorney General Arely Gómez was considered to have been “insensitive.”
One of the principal points discussed at the meeting was the demand of the families to have investigations continue by means of a specialized unit for the case, as there is evidence of the participation of various police and Army units in the events that took place during the night of the disappearance. In this way, the president only offered to continue the search through the Special Prosecutorial Office for Disappeared Persons, a commitment that was rejected by the families, who considered it to have been insufficient.
Moreover, the parents of the 43 also rejected the so-called “historical truth” presented by the administration, which was clearly repudiated by the presentation of the report compiled by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI). They also reiterated that they would not give up in their struggle for the search for their sons, affirmed that they would continue to mobilize in Guerrero and Mexico City, and they called once again for support from national and international solidarity.
For September 26, the day on which the one-year anniversary of the crime will be commemorated, there were several calls for actions in the country, as abroad. It was anticipated that in Mexico City, the families would carry out a 43-hour fast, declare the 26th of September a “Day for National Indignation,” and carry out a march to demand justice. In San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, there were also plans for a march, as well as for a cultural event to educate and express solidarity.
For more information (in Spanish):
Ayotzinapa: 8 “exigencias esenciales” de familiares de desaparecidos (La Jornada, 24 de septiembre de 2015)
Estas son las 8 exigencias de los padres de normalistas desaparecidos a Peña Nieto (Animal Político, 24 de septiembre de 2015)
Reunión con Peña fue improductiva y violenta, dicen padres de normalistas (CNN México, 24 de septiembre de 2015)
Convocan normalistas y padres de familia a acciones por primer aniversario de Ayotzinapa (Vimeo, 23 de septiembre de 2015)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Guerrero: Group of Experts on Ayotzinapa case presents its report 6 months on (13 September 2015)