Mexico: Mothers Continue the Search for Their Disappeared Children on Their Day

May 13, 2020

result-4-1Photo: Chiapasparalelo

May 10th is Mother’s Day in Mexico and despite the pandemic, women demonstrated to show that they will continue to search for their missing children. For several years, May 10th has been an emblematic date for the mothers of thousands of disappeared in the country to take to the streets demanding justice.

“Nothing to celebrate, for us this date is not a celebration, it is a fight and a protest”, declared Eva Verduzco de la Cruz-mother of a disappeared son.

The call was broad and due to the pandemic it assumed different forms to in the past, including messages on social networks, videos, photographs (the vast majority wearing face masks with messages alluding to the demand for justice and the presentation of the disappeared), caravans, statements, among others.

The Movement for Our Disappeared in Mexico – made up of more than 60 groups of relatives of disappeared people, from 22 Mexican states and three Central American countries – and United Forces for Our Disappeared in Mexico (FUNDEM) urged the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador that despite the emergency caused by the COVID-19, the effective and immediate search for the 61 thousand disappeared – according to official figures – that exists in Mexico does not stop and the processes for the identification of the more 37 thousand unidentified bodies, many of them found in clandestine graves, are accelerated.

On another note, the Office in Mexico of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) joined the actions of protest and demand for truth, justice and guarantees of non-repetition, so it called on society as a whole to echo this virtual mobilization on social networks, “accompanying those who every day must face obstacles and risks in the search for their loved ones, for justice and for the truth.”

For more information in Spanish:

Madres de desaparecidos usan vías alternas de protesta por Covid-19, La Jornada, 10 de mayo de 2020

A pesar de la pandemia, mujer sale a buscar a hijo desaparecido, Aristegui Noticias,10 de mayo de 2020

Madres de desaparecidos en Colima urgen no parar mecanismos de búsqueda, proceso, 11 de mayo

Ante la ausencia del Estado, madres, hijas y esposas aprenden a rastrear a sus familiares, Desinformemonos, 11 de mayo de 2020

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Committee of Mothers and Fathers of 43 Demand the “Search and Investigation Continue” Despite Health Emergency (April 28, 2020)

National/Guerrero: Agreement to Reintroduce Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts in Ayotzinapa Case. Number of Disappeared Increases in the Country (January 14, 2020)

National/International: Caravan of Mothers of Disappeared Migrants 2019 Tours Country (November 24, 2019)

 


National/International: Mexico and IACHR Formalize Reinstallation of IGIE for Ayotzinapa Case

May 11, 2020

QueEsElGIEIIGIE in previous phase (@Centro PRO DH)

In a statement published on May 7th, the Interior and Foreign Relations Secretariats reported that the Mexican government signed an agreement with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) for the reinstatement of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE).

The objective in this new stage will be to provide international technical assistance for the advancement of investigations and to assist in the preparation of search plans, care for victims and other relevant aspects in the case of the forced disappearance of 43 students from Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa in Iguala, Guerrero, in September 2014.

The statement explained that the process “was carried out taking into account the representation of the parents of the students, the Office in Mexico of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as the experts themselves who will form part of the International Group of Independent Experts.”

It specified that this action is part of the commitment established in the “Decree that instructs to establish effective material, legal and human conditions to strengthen the human rights of the relatives of the victims of the Ayotzinapa case to truth and access to justice”, issued by President Lopez Obrador on December 4th, 2018 and which raised, among other points, the possibility of passing agreements that allow the IACHR to cooperate.

For more information in Spanish: 

Gobierno de México y CIDH firman acuerdo para reinstalación del GIEI, a fin de seguir brindando asistencia técnica en el caso Ayotzinapa (comunicado completo, 7 de mayo de 2020)

Firman Segob y SRE acuerdo con CIDH para reinstalación del GIEI (La Jornada, 7 de mayo de 2020)

Firman acuerdo de reinstalación de GIEI en caso Ayotzinapa (Aristegui Noticias, 7 de mayo de 2020)

Formalizan reinstalación del GIEI en el caso Ayotzinapa (Regeneración, 8 de mayo de 2020)

Acuerdan México y CIDH reinstalar el GIEI para el caso Ayotzinapa (El Universal, 7 de mayo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/Guerrero: Agreement to Reintroduce Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts in Ayotzinapa Case. Number of Disappeared Increases in the Country (January 14, 2020)

 

Guerrero: Attorney General Will Investigate Ayotzinapa Case “Almost from Scratch”(September 25, 2019)

 

Guerrero: New Stage in Investigation of Ayotzinapa Case – Creation of Special Investigation Unit with Omar Gomez Trejo as Head (July 8, 2019)

 


Guerrero: Committee of Mothers and Fathers of 43 Demand the “Search and Investigation Continue” Despite Health Emergency

April 28, 2020

peregrinacion padres estudiantes ayotzinapa diciembre 2019 (2)@Twitter

In a statement published on April 26th, 67 months after the forced disappearance of the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Normal Rural School in Iguala, the Committee of Mothers and Fathers of the 43 demanded that the authorities not stop searching for the people disappeared in the country despite the health emergency due to Coronavirus (Covid-19). “It is necessary for the Government to find the appropriate mechanisms so that, without breaking with the rules established by the health emergency, the search and investigation do not stop,” it declared.

It noted that so far “investigations and searches have shown minimal progress, since important findings have been found that are being identified in the laboratories of the University of Innsbruck, three arrests have been made and an arrest warrant was issued against Tomas Zeron de Lucio ex-chief of the Criminal Investigation Agency and one of those who built the historical lie. However, these steps are not enough to find the whereabouts of our children and to know the truth and access justice.”

It also expressed fear “that the media agenda focused on the health issue will make the disappeared and the pain that mothers and fathers experience every day invisible.” For their part, they confirmed that “nothing will stop us, we will continue looking for our children no matter what happens.”

For more information in Spanish:

Aunque los mares se sequen y la tormenta arrecie te seguiré buscando (Comité de Madres y Padres de los 43, 26 de abril de 2020)

Padres de Ayotzinapa exigen continuar con búsqueda pese a contingencia (El Sol de México, 26 de abril de 2020)

Padres de los 43 normalistas de Ayotzinapa piden que continúe la investigación pese a la contingencia por Covid-19 (El Economista, 26 de abril de 2020)

Padres de Ayotzinapa exigen a México no frenar la búsqueda de los desaparecidos (EFE, 27 de abril de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: CNDH to Investigate Attacks on Parents of Ayotzinapa 43 (April 5, 2020)

National/Guerrero: Federal Judge Gives Prison Sentences to Three Accused of Torture in Ayotzinapa Case (March 30, 2020)

National/Guerrero: First Legal Actions against Officials in Ayotzinapa Case Investigation (March 24, 2020)

National/Guerrero: First Legal Actions against Officials in Ayotzinapa Case Investigation (March 24, 2020)


Chiapas: CNDH to Investigate Attacks on Parents of Ayotzinapa 43

April 5, 2020

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The National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) will investigate the attacks on February 16th against the relatives of the 43 students of the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa who disappeared in 2014, while they were participating in a demonstration in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas.

Relatives and several students from the Mactumactza Normal School in Chiapas were attacked by elements of the state’s Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection on February 16th, leaving three students injured along with two mothers, and a minor.

The State Commission for Human Rights in Chiapas initiated a complaint file ex officio, which has been taken on by the CNDH, which explained that “in the exercise of the powers conferred on the CNDH regarding the investigation of acts that may constitute human rights violations, that by their nature transcend the interest of a federative entity and influence national public opinion, it was agreed to exercise the appeal of the file.”

For more information in Spanish:

Atrae CNDH caso de ataque de policías de Chiapas a familiares de los 43 estudiantes desaparecidos de la Normal de Ayotzinapa y alumnos de la Normal Mactumactzá, CNDH, 31 de marzo de 2020

CNDH atrae caso de agresión hacia familiares de los 43 estudiantes, Chiapasparalelo, 2 de abril de 2020

CNDH investigará agresiones contra padres de 43 normalistas, El Imparcial, 31de marzo de 2020

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Guerrero: Two Police Officers Held for Attacks on Parents of the Ayotzinapa 43 Disapeared; Investigation of Students who Participated in Protest Continue (February 26, 2020)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Parents of Ayotzinapa 43 Attacked with Tear Gas in Tuxtla Gutierrez (February 17, 2020)


National/Guerrero: Federal Judge Gives Prison Sentences to Three Accused of Torture in Ayotzinapa Case

March 30, 2020

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On March 26th, three former security officials were sent to prison for their alleged participation in the torture of detainees in the investigation of the case of the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School who disappeared in Iguala in 2014.

Different sources reported that the Special Investigation and Litigation Unit for the Ayotzinapa case obtained a formal prison order against the officials “Isidro Junco Barajas, who currently served as Deputy Director of Operational Control of the Security Directorate of the Chamber of Deputies (…) Ezequiel Peña Cerda, now area director at the Criminal Investigation Agency (AIC) and the marine Ariel Agustin Castillo Reyes.”

“According to judicial sources, Ezequiel Peña Cerda and Ariel Agustin Castillo Reyes, in addition to the crime of torture, were charged with the crime against the administration of justice and abuse of authority,” the media reported.

On March 17th, the three former officials were detained by the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR) for their involvement in the arrest of Carlos Canto, who was allegedly involved in the disappearance of the missing students, who was tortured to force his confession.

For more information in Spanish:

Juez dicta prisión a tres acusados de tortura en el caso Ayotzinapa (Política Expansión, 26 de marzo de 2020)

Dictan formal prisión por tortura a tres implicados en el caso Ayotzinapa (El Proceso, 26 de marzo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/Guerrero: First Legal Actions against Officials in Ayotzinapa Case Investigation (March 24, 2020)

National/Guerrero: Meeting on New Evidence in Ayotzinapa Case (March 9, 2020)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Two Police Officers Held for Attacks on Parents of the Ayotzinapa 43 Disapeared; Investigation of Students who Participated in Protest Continue (February 26, 2020)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Parents of Ayotzinapa 43 Attacked with Tear Gas in Tuxtla Gutierrez (February 17, 2020)

National/Guerrero: Agreement to Reintroduce Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts in Ayotzinapa Case. Number of Disappeared Increases in the Country (January 14, 2020)


National/Guerrero: First Legal Actions against Officials in Ayotzinapa Case Investigation

March 24, 2020

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On March 17th, three suspects involved in acts of torture against those accused of the case of the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School who disappeared in Iguala in 2014 were arrested by the Attorney General’s Office (PGR).

According to different sources, “Isidro Junco Barajas, who currently served as Deputy Director of Operational Control of the Security Directorate of the Chamber of Deputies (…) Ezequiel Peña Cerda, now area director at the Criminal Investigation Agency (AIC) and the marine Ariel Agustín Castillo Reyes.”

In addition, “the former director of the Criminal Investigation Agency (AIC), Tomas Zeron de Lucio, and the ex-head of the Federal Ministerial Police, Carlos Gomez Arrieta, against whom the FGR would have requested the intervention of Interpol, are about to be arrested,” the newspaper Proceso reported.

Organizations accompanying the relatives of the disappeared students reported that they welcome and recognize “the first legal actions of the FGR against officials who committed torture and/or irregularities in the investigation of the Ayotzinapa case, since they confirm what the families have always denounced: the manipulation of the investigation.”

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) also ruled in this regard, stating that “it observes the development of the investigation in light of Mexico’s human rights obligations”, and hopes that the arrest warrants “against those who participated in acts of obstruction of justice in the enforced disappearance of the 43 normalistas from Ayotzinapa are taken independently.”

For more information in Spanish:

La CIDH aplaude actuación de FGR en caso Ayotzinapa (El Proceso, 18 de marzo de 2020)

Detienen a marino por tortura en caso Ayotzinapa (El Debate, 18 de marzo de 2020)

Detienen a ex policías que torturaron a imputados por caso Ayotzinapa (La Jornada, 17 de marzo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National/Guerrero: Meeting on New Evidence in Ayotzinapa Case (March 9, 2020)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Two Police Officers Held for Attacks on Parents of the Ayotzinapa 43 Disapeared; Investigation of Students who Participated in Protest Continue (February 26, 2020)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Parents of Ayotzinapa 43 Attacked with Tear Gas in Tuxtla Gutierrez (February 17, 2020)

National/Guerrero: Agreement to Reintroduce Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts in Ayotzinapa Case. Number of Disappeared Increases in the Country (January 14, 2020)


National/Guerrero: Meeting on New Evidence in Ayotzinapa Case

March 9, 2020

ayotzinapa-focus-0-0-730-410Photo @ XeVT

On March 5th, a meeting was held in the National Palace in which relatives of the 43 students of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa disappeared in Iguala in 2014, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), representatives of the Supreme Court and the Attorney General’s Office participated.

In this regard, the president reported that “today we signed an agreement with the Attorney General of the Republic, Alejandro Gertz Manero and the president of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, Arturo Zaldivar, to work together, with respect for our autonomies, with the purpose of clarifying definitively the case of the disappeared young people of Ayotzinapa and doing justice. It is not just for the State, but for the nation.”

The undersecretary of Human Rights, Alejandro Encinas, detailed some findings from this week; “The Commission for Truth and Access to Justice for the Ayotzinapa case found six remains linked to the search of the 43 students (…) the remains found in the searches were sent to the University of Innsbruck, in Austria, for analysis. It said the University of Innsbruck has already begun evaluating the findings, although it did not estimate a date for possible results.”

In turn, “family members of the 43 disappeared student students from Ayotzinapa asked to create a court to deal with all the files of the process, in order to avoid delays in the delivery of justice. Today we have many criminal cases in several courts that decide with such different criteria that all this does is delay access to justice for the mothers and fathers”, the legal representative of the relatives from the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, Vidulfo Rosales said.

They also requested “that the federal and municipal police of Huitzuco be investigated for the crime of forced disappearance and torture, in addition to criminal proceedings against those responsible for creating investigations with the use of torture.”

In recent days, through an information note, the Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Center stated that “the hope that the government of the fourth transformation will fulfill its commitment to find the whereabouts of the 43 students is running out.”

For more information in Spanish:

Convenio de colaboración que celebran el poder ejecutivo federal, la suprema corte de justicia de la nación y la fiscalía general de la república para el esclarecimiento de los hechos del caso Ayotzinapa (Presidencia de la República, 5 de marzo de 2020)

Ayotzinapa. Hallan nuevas pistas en caso de los 43; las analizarán en Austria (El Universal, 5 de marzo de 2020)

Hallan restos vinculados a caso Ayotzinapa; los analizarán en Innsbruck (Animal Político, 5 de marzo de 2020)

AMLO, FGR y Corte firman acuerdo por caso de Ayotzinapa (Debate, 5 de marzo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Guerrero: Two Police Officers Held for Attacks on Parents of the Ayotzinapa 43 Disapeared; Investigation of Students who Participated in Protest Continue (February 26, 2020)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Parents of Ayotzinapa 43 Attacked with Tear Gas in Tuxtla Gutierrez (February 17, 2020)

National/Guerrero: Agreement to Reintroduce Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts in Ayotzinapa Case. Number of Disappeared Increases in the Country (January 14, 2020)