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

February 5, 2015

20141114_194702

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)

Advertisements

National: “To Defend Human Rights Is Necessary, Legitimate, and Dangerous” – Amnesty International

December 17, 2014

AI

On 9 December, day for human-rights defenders, Amnesty International (AI) presented the document “To Defend Human Rights Is Necessary, Legitimate, and Dangerous” regarding the work of human-rights observers and journalists in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The report notes that journalists and rights-defenders risk their lives and liberty to struggle for human rights, and continue to suffer from intimidation, assault, and other forms of violence.

The document stresses the “high levels of violence and repression” against those who work in questions having to do with the land, territory, and natural resources, as well as the rights of women and children, migrants, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans* and intersexual persons, in addition to journalists and trade-unionists who defend human rights.

“The saddening reality is that many of these persons who defend human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean suffer constant persecution and attacks as revenge for their efforts.  In different countries we have observed a disquieting and lamentable increase in the levels of violence and repressions suffered by these persons just for defending human rights and justice,” noted Erika Guevara Rosas, director of the American Program with AI.

For more information (in Spanish):

Defender Derechos Humanos en las Américs: Necesario, Legítimo y Peligroso, Amnestía Internacional, 9 de diciembre de 2014

Denuncia AI aumento de violencia contra defensores de Derechos Humanos en Latinoamerica, SDPNoticias, 9 de diciembre de 2014

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National: Mexico, one of the most dangerous countries for environmental defenders (12 June 2014)