On November 3rd, in one of his first actions as new president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) signed a decree that establishes the creation of a truth commission to resolve the case of the forced disappearance of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Normal Rural School, in Iguala, Guerrero, in September 2014.
“With this agreement, we began the search process for the youths of Ayotzinapa. With this decree the whole government is ordered, in what corresponds to the Executive Power, so that all the support is given to you, to the commission, to arrive at the truth. The whole government is going to help in this purpose”, AMLO told the parents of the missing students. He promised that, “there will be no impunity neither in this so sad, painful, case nor any other.”
The Commission which will start working within a maximum of 30 working days will be made up of the relatives of the disappeared students or their representatives, their lawyers, a representative of the Secretariats of the Interior, Foreign Affairs and Finance, as well as professional and technical experts who are required.
Alejandro Encinas, the new undersecretary of Human Rights of the Interior and who will lead the new Commission, said the Commission will resume the investigations carried out by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE), the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), as well as the “truncated” investigation of the PGR. “To clarify the case is the beginning of a state policy that places the victims at the center,” assured Encinas.
At the end of the event, family members of the students expressed that the decree gives them hope, although “confidence will be gained as the search for the truth advances”. For his part, Vidulfo Rosales, a member of the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center and a lawyer for the relatives of the victims, welcomed the inauguration of a “new stage in the struggle and the search for the 43 compañeros, but this is only the the beginning, all the invstigation lines that the Peña Nieto government did not want to promote and which remained stagnant will be retaken.” Santiago Aguirre, deputy director of the Pro Center, stressed that the decree instructs the entire federal administration to collaborate in the clarification of the facts, “given that in the past, the federal government obstructed the process.”
Outside the National Palace, some parents of missing persons protested because they were not allowed to enter the event and demanded that immediate mechanisms of search and investigation be applied in all cases of disappearance, not only Ayotzinapa.
According to Alberto Solis Castro, director of Services and Consultancy for Peace (SERAPAZ), resolving this emblematic case “can be a spearhead and hope for all of the over 30,000 disappeared in the country. It is a first effort of that must be turned into something structural to address the serious human rights crisis we are in.”
For more information in Spanish:
Decreto de AMLO, ¿nueva esperanza para padres de los 43 de Ayotzinapa? (CNN, 3 de diciembre de 2018)
Crea AMLO Comisión de la Verdad por caso Ayotzinapa (La Jornada, 3 de diciembre de 2018)
López Obrador formaliza comisión para la verdad y justicia del caso Ayotzinapa (Proceso, 3 de diciembre de 2018)
AMLO firma decreto de creación de la comisión para el caso Ayotzinapa; retomará investigación de PGR (Animal Político, 3 de diciembre de 2018)
¿Qué implica el decreto para la Comisión de la Verdad en el caso Ayotzinapa? (ADN Político, 4 de diciembre de 2018)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Guerrero/National/International: CNDH and IACHR Ayotzinapa Reports (December 14th, 2018)
Guerrero/National: Ayotzinapa, Four Years On… (October 1st, 2018)
Guerrero/National: Obstruction in Formation of Truth Commission in Ayotzinapa Case Denounced (Aug. 8th, 2018)Guerrero: Classmates of Ayotzinapa 43 Graduate
Guerrero: Classmates of Ayotzinapa 43 Graduate (Aug. 2nd, 2018)
Guerrero/Nacional : CNDH informa que se tiene a un preso inocente por el caso Ayotzinapa (22 de junio de 2018)