Guerrero: Amnesty International accuses PGR of failure to investigate participation of the Army in the Ayotzinapa case

February 5, 2015

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March for Ayotzinapa in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, 14 November 2014

Photo @ SIPAZ archive

The Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) has failed adequately to investigate the denunciations that have been made of the complicity of the armed forces and other authorities in the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, according to Erika Guevara Rosas, Regional Director of the Americas for Amnesty International, as she claimed in a press-conference on 22 January.  The Amnesty experts have criticized the inconsistencies in the investigations carried out by the PGR, whose head, Jesús Murillo Karam, declared on 21 January that his conclusion is that the 43 students have been killed, based on the identification of the remains of the student Alexander Mora Venancio among the evidence recovered at the waste-dump in Cocula, Guerrero.  On 22 January, relatives and friends of Alexander Mora marched through the streets of the Tecoanapa municipality to demand the presentation of the remains of the student.  José Félix Rosas Rodríguez, spokesperson of the Popular Movement of Guerrero (MPG) in Tecoanapa, said that “more than a month and a half on, they have not returned the remains of the student to his father, Ezequiel Mora Chona.”

On 20 January, Institute of Forensic Medicine at Innsbruck University announced that the scientific studies that were applied to the remains collected in Cocula–that is, which presumably belong to the disappeared students–establish that “the excessive heat has destroyed the DNA […] of the remains, such that to date, the routine methods that have been used have not produced a conclusive result.”  The Institute mentioned the possibility of using a new technology that could serve as a useful tool to continue examining the presumed remains of the disappeared students.  Without having consulted the relatives of the disappeared, the PGR requested that the Institute immediately carry out said studies.

The relatives and their counsel, Vidulfo Rosales, from the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, have insisted that the investigation must include the role of the Army in the disappearances, and that the military barracks must be opened to search for evidence.  However, on 21 January, the search for the students in these barracks “has been suspended,” according to Rosales, who indicated that the agreement made with the Secretary of Governance, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, had been to “examine all the barracks, but now we are surprised that they are saying that only Iguala will be investigated.”  All the relevant police stations and jails have been investigated to date, but not Army installations.  Beyond this, “there is evidence” against the military, in light of the “defensive attitude taken by the federal government,” the lawyer added.

Four months after the disappearance of the 43 students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School, the parents of the disappeared have organized new mobilizations for 26 January at 10am, when four megamarches will be launched in Mexico City.

For more information (in Spanish):

Ayotzinapa: Amnistía Internacional acusa falta de investigación sobre la participación del ejército (Información SIDIDH, 22 de enero de 2015)

PGR falló en investigación sobre el caso Ayotzinapa: AI (Aristegui Noticias, 21 de enero de 2015)

Crece la rabia: que por lo menos investiguen al Ejército (Proceso, 18 de enero de 2015)

“Calor excesivo ha destruido el ADN” de presuntos restos de estudiantes de Ayotzinapa: Innsbruck (Aristegui Noticias, 21 de enero de 2015)

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Guerrero: update in the Ayotzinapa case

December 17, 2014

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Photo @SIPAZ

The parents and relatives of the disappeared normalist students have rejected the version presented by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) that the youth were burned and reduced to ashes in the garbage-dump of Cocula, Guerrero.  The families held that the remains of Alexander Mora Venancio, the only one of the 43 students who has been identified, were provided by the government to maintain the version of the three narco-hitmen who confessed to burning the remains of the students after killing them.  “The Argentinian investigators cannot confirm that these remains were found in Cocula, because they were not present at the time of the discovery of the remains [of Alexander Mora], such that the black bags containing the remains were open,” said a representative.  The director of the Institute for Forensic Medicine in Innsbruck, Austria, affirmed that expectations are “very low” that the laboratory will be able to identify the human remains that were presumably found in Cocula, because the conditions to which they were consciously exposed converted them to a “very challenging” state.

Beyond this, civil-society organizations have defended the legal representatives of the families of the 43 students disappeared by the police in Iguala, after it was reported that the Center for Investigation and National Security (CISEN), associated with the Secretary of Governance, had qualified them as a “danger for governance,” making reference to members of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights.  In a communique, 19 human-rights organizations denounced and lamented that the government would try to discredit human-rights defenders and use public resources to weaken the movement for the disappeared in place of employing the capacities of intelligence agencies to combat the infiltration and corruption of the “narco-State” and ensure that grave human-rights violations do not remain in impunity.

On 3 December, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OACNUDH) visited the Rural Normal school of Ayotzinapa to meet with relatives and friends of the disappeared students.  The visit was part of a follow-up campaign that the OACNUDH has provided in the case.  The Office reiterated its solidarity and energetic denunciation of the events of Iguala.

In a communique from 10 December, the German Coordination for Human Rights in Mexico demanded that the government of Enrique Peña Nieto clarify the role played by the Mexican Army and federal police in the disappearance of the 43 students.  In this way, it also demanded that Angela Merkel’s government suspend negotiations regarding security agreements with Mexico until the latter government provides a report on the general situation of human rights in Mexico.  On 10 December, the German daily Tages Zeitung reported that at least 36 of the weapons presumably used against the normalist students of Ayotzinapa were G-36 German assault rifles, produced by the Heckler & Koch corporation.  A day previous, on 9 December, deputies of the green parties in the European Parliament protested inside the parliament building in Brussels, demanding that the Mexican government use all possible means of finding the disappeared students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School alive.

For more information (in Spanish):

Defienden 19 ONG a Vidulfo Rosales y Abel barrera ante ataques del CISEN (El Sur de Acapulco, 9 de diciembre de 2014)

Comunicado de prensa – ONU-DH visita a familiares y compañeros de los normalistas en Ayotzinapa y reitera su respaldo a sus demandas de justicia (Tlachinallon, 3 de diciembre de 2014)

Defendamos a Tlachinollan ante ataques del Cisen (EDUCA, 9 de diciembre de 2014)

Son “muy bajas” las expectativas para identificar los restos de Cocula, dice la universidad de Austria (El Sur de Acapulco, 9 de diciembre de 2014)

Ayotzinapa: Vivos los queremos (El Topil, diciembre de 2014)

Comunicado de prensa (Coordinación alemana, 10 de diciembre de 2014)

Acuerdo de seguridad Alemania-México: inminente y poco transparente(Deutsche Welle, 10 de diciembre de 2014)

Se utilizaron armas alemanas en ataque a normalistas (Proceso, 10 de diciembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):