Guerrero/National: Following the creation of the Office for Specialized Investigation, relatives of the 43 suspend their sit-in

December 26, 2015

Imagen de la conmemoración de un año de la desaparición forzada de los 43 en San Cristóbal de Las Casas Foto: @SIPAZ

Image commemorating one year since the forcible disappearance of the 43, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas

Photo: @SIPAZ

After five days of sit-ins near the presidential residence of Los Pinos in Mexico City, parents of the 43 students forcibly disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero, suspended their protest on 1 December. The catalyst of this action was their meeting with the Attorney General Arely Gómez González, who announced to the families the creation of an Office for Specialized Investigation, which will be assessed by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Vidulfo Rosales, lawyer for the families of the disappeared students, declared that the creation of this new office for investigation signifies a change in the federal government’s posture, rejecting the line of investigation known as the “historical truth” and instead investigating new lines proposed by the GIEI report. “The creation of a new office is the beginning, but for us it is significant because we are starting a new phase in the investigations, and for this reason I have some hope for the parents,” he said. According to Cimac News, the relatives will meet each 15 days with members of the Office and monthly with the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) to monitor progress in the case.

It bears mentioning that the government attempted to close the case and has failed to observe several of the agreements previously made with the families. In this way, the families gave a vote of confidence in the new office, being accompanied by the GIEI. “We’re going to go, but we’re going to continue struggling. We hope that they do what they say,” added the father of one of the disappeared students.

For more information (in Spanish):

Familiares de los 43 dan voto de confianza a nueva unidad de investigación de PGR por la supervisión del GIEI (Revolución Tres Punto Cero, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

Nos vamos, pero no confiamos en el gobierno: madres de los 43 (Cimac Noticias, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

Padres de Ayotzinapa levantan plantón; ya tenemos confianza en las autoridades, dicen (Animal Político, 1 de diciembre de 2015)

Papás de Ayotzinapa instalan plantón en DF, exigen inmediata conformación de fiscalía especial (Animal Político, 27 de noviembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Denunciation of Mexican State before Inter-American System of Human Rights due to death and torture of student-teachers in Ayotzinapa, 2011 (26 December 2015)

Guerrero: Body of tortured and executed Ayotzinapa student, Julio César Mondragón, is exhumed (21 November 2015)

National: Mobilizations within and outside the country for the first anniversary of the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa (10 October 2015)

Chiapas: Actions for the one-year anniversary of the Ayotzinapa disappearances (8 October 2015)

Guerrero/National: “Fruitless” meeting between relatives of the disappeared from Ayotzinapa and EPN (8 October 2015)

Guerrero: Group of Experts on Ayotzinapa case presents its report 6 months on (13 September 2015)


National: IACHR carries out visit to Mexico

October 10, 2015

(Tres integrantes de la CIDH antes del encuentro en Tenosique, @ La 72)(Three members of the IACHR before the meeting in Tenosique, @ La 72)

From 28 September to 2 October, the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IAHCR) held a visit to Mexico to observe the human-rights situation in the country, with an emphasis on extrajudicial executions, torture, and forcible disappearances. Bertha Santoscoy, a representative from the Organization of American States (OAS), indicated that one of the criteria most utilized by the IACHR to carry out the investigation is “the gravity and elevated number of denunciations regarding systematic violations of human rights that are detected in any given country.” The delegation sought to monitor the human-rights situation, collect information, and evaluate the observation of international law. “Our concern has been constant in recent years, but it is true that at this time there have been a series of very grave incidents,” remarked Cavallaro, member of the IACHR. Beginning on 28 September, the delegation visited Guerrero, Tabasco, Nuevo León, Coahuila, Veracruz, and Mexico City. The delegation led by the president of the IACHR, Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, interviewed governmental authorities from the three levels of government and met with civil-society representative as well. As part of the visit, on 29 September, the delegation also met with several organizations working with migrants and refugees in Tenosique, Tabasco. In this way, it collected testimonies of victims regarding human-rights violations and from relatives of victims in the different places it visited. Beyond this, the IACHR carried out a meeting with the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) to address the latter’s report on the events of Ayotzinapa.

On 2 October, the delegation will give a press-conference to share its preliminary observations. For 2016 it plans to publish a report regarding its findings.

For more information (in Spanish):

La CIDH ve graves violaciones a derechos humanos en México (Informador, 30 de septiembre de 2015)

CIDH revisará graves violaciones a Derechos Humanos en México (Centro Prodh, 28 de septiembre de 2015)

Visita in loco a México de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos. (Diario de Chiapas, 20 de septiembre de 2015)

CARTA INVITACIÓN DE LA CIDH PARA REUNIÓN EN LA 72 EL 29 DE SEPTIEMBRE (La 72, 20 de septiembre de 2015)

CIDH realiza visita in loco a México (Organización de los Estado Americanos, 17 de septiembre de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: IACHR experts confirm that the Ayotzinapa case is a forcible disappearance and crime against humanity (10 April 2015)

Guerrero: Arrival of IACHR group to Mexico provides hope in the Ayotzinapa case (21 March 2015)


Guerrero: Group of Experts on Ayotzinapa case presents its report 6 months on

September 13, 2015

DSCF5588March for Ayotzinapa, Mexico City, 26 September. Photo @SIPAZ

The disappeared students from Ayotzinapa were not incinerated in the Cocula dump, as the Federal Attorney General’s Office had indicated at the beginning of this year, in accordance with the findings of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), as asserted during the presentation of its report 6 months on (6 September 2015). What took place against the students of Ayotzinapa nearly a year ago in Iguala, Guerrero, was “a massive attack” that involved 180 direct victims, including 6 extrajudicial executions and 43 “forcible disappearances,” as the IACHR experts discuss. The expert Carlos Beristain affirmed that “there was the presence of different State agents (municipal, ministerial, and federal police) and we did not find any evidence of attempts to rescue. What happened was an attack that went beyond the mere neutralization of persons.” Beyond this, “there was a delay in attention to the victims. The ambulance crews were afraid to go out.” The experts further stressed that the ovens and crematories that may have been used to burn the students’ bodies must be investigated. For their part, the parents of the disappeared request the indefinite presence of the specialists until truth and justice are revealed.

The expert José Torero visited the Cocula dump on 12 July, accompanied by the GIEI, and he established the necessary conditions to incinerate a human body. “He showed us the evidence and the state-of-the-art science indicating that the optimal means of incinerating a body is a crematory oven. These conditions require between 90 and 120 minutes to burn a sole corpse,” noted the expert Francisco Cox during the press-confernece. He also specified that to incinerate a body 650 kilograms of wood are needed. Besides this, the flames that would be needed would have overwhelmed the dump altogether, destroying everything else present—something that did not happen. “The incineration of the 43 could not have transpired in the Cocula dump,” stressed Carlos Beristain. In light of this, the experts called for an investigation of the crematory ovens that could have been used to burn the bodies of the students.

Another affair that the experts clarified is that there were five, not four, buses that had been taken by the students on 26 September. The existence of the fifth bus was first denied in the initial investigations. In light of video evidence indicating its presence, federal authorities presented a truck for the experts to examine, and the latter concluded that it did not seem to be the same one that appeared in the video taken the day of the disappearances. To date, this bus has not been found, and the GIEI suspects that it could have been a vehicle used for the transport of drugs that had been casually taken by the youth, thus provoking the massive and indiscriminate attack prosecuted by unknown actors who have been protected by total impunity.

Both the parents and mothers of the disappeared as well as the organizations that accompany them, the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, and the Prodh Center stressed that all the authorities who have impeded the investigation should themselves be investigated. They also specified that the investigation should incorporate the entire context of criminality, as it is not believable that collusion between organized crime and the authorities is limited merely to the municipal level.

For more information (in Spanish):

“Los muchachos no fueron incinerados en basurero de Cocula”: #InformeGIEI (Aristegui Noticias, 6 de septiembre de 2015)

Investiguen los hornos crematorios, piden expertos del caso Ayotzinapa al gobierno (Aristegui Noticias, 7 de septiembre de 2015)

Trasiego de drogas en autobuses, línea por indagar en caso Iguala (La Jornada, 6 de septiembre de 2015)

Informe completo Ayotzinapa (GIEI, 6 de septiembre de 2015)

video: Informe Ayotzinapa

video: Posición oficial de la PGR

video: Pronunciamiento de familiares

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Tlachinollan dedicates its XXI activity report to parents of the disappeared of Ayotzinapa (11 September 2015)

National/Guerrero: Nine months after the Ayotzinapa atrocity, relatives express taht they will not be silenced (3 July 2015)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Delegation of relatives and comrades of Ayotzinapa students tour CNI communities (29 June 2015)

Guerrero/National: 8 months after the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, there is no progress (9 June 2015)

Guerrero: Ayotzinapa – seven months of impunity and struggling for justice (3 May 2015)

Guerrero: IACHR experts confirm that the Ayotzinapa case is a forcible disappearance and a crime against humanity (10 April 2015)


National/Guerrero: Nearly a year after the forcible disappearance of “the 43,” mobilizations continue

September 11, 2015

March for Ayotzinapa in Mexico City, 26 August 2015. Photo @SIPAZ

As on every 26th of the month, several people came together in a collective action to demand the appearance with life of the 43 students from the “Isidro Burgos” Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. This time the action took place on Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City, where a march was held to the Zócalo of the capital.

On this eleventh month since the forcible disappearance of the 43, though the relatives recognize the exhaustion and despair accumulated by the pain and suffering caused by the absence of the youth, they affirmed that they will continue to demand justice until their sons appear. At a rally at the end of the march, parents of the disappeared condemned the supposed “historical truth” announced by former Federal Attorney General (PGR) Jesús Murillo Karam, according to which the students were arrested and subsequently handed over to the “United Warriors” drug cartel, who supposedly incinerated the students and threw their remains into a local river. The Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) also refuted this version of events, beyond releasing numerous recommendations to clarify the case. According to Cimac News, the federal government has not carried out even half of these recommendations, such as for example interviewing the members of the 27th Infantry Batallion of Iguala, who were present during the disappearance of the students.

At the rally was expressed solidarity with other struggles, such as the clarification of the acts that took place in the Narvarte neighborhood of Mexico City, where 5 people were killed recently, including the activist Nadia Vera and the photojournalist Rubén Espinosa. Beyond this, the families announced that they are preparing actions to pressure the government for the one-year anniversary of the forcible disappearance on 26 September. They announced that they would hold a hunger strike for three days and organize a mega-march in Mexico City, beyond preparing a “counter-report” to respond to the Third Governmental Report.

It should be stressed that media such as Aristegui News reported attacks on the press after the march.

For more information (in Spanish):

Padres protestan por los 11 meses del caso Ayotzinapa y alistan acciones (CNN México, 26 de agosto de 2015)

“Verdad histórica” se diluyó bajo los pies de las mamás de los 43 (Cimac Noticias, 27 de agosto de 2015)

Policías del DF agreden a prensa tras marcha por Ayotzinapa (video) (Aristegui Noticias, 28 de agosto de 2015)

A casi un año de la desaparición, padres de Ayotzinapa viajarán a EU para pedir ayuda del Papa (Animal Político, 26 de agosto de 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Relatives of disappeared students from Ayotzinapa meet with PGR for first time in 4 months (22 July 2015)

National/Guerrero: Nine months after the Ayotzinapa atrocity, relatives express that they will not be silenced (3 July 2015)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Delegation of relatives and comrades of Ayotzinapa students tour CNI communities (29 June 2015)

Guerrero/National: 8 months after the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, there is no progress (9 June 2015)


Guerrero: Relatives of disappeared students from Ayotzinapa meet with PGR for first time in 4 months

July 22, 2015

 DSCF4096

March in Chilpancingo, February 2015

Photo @ SIPAZ archive

On 9 July, the relatives of the 43 forcibly disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, together with their representatives, met with the Federal Attorney General, Arely Gómez. This was the first meeting since the time when Gómez was ratified in this position, and after four months of a breakdown in communication between the relatives and the authorities. The meeting was organized and accompanied by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), which in a press release mentions that “the Group believes that this meeting is an important step to advance in the investigation and improve the relationship with the relatives, and we believe that the result was fruitful.” In the meeting, the Attorney General and the relatives of the students made reference to the importance of the GIEI’s work in terms of the investigation, and they agreed to follow-up mechanisms and for dialogue with the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR).

The lawyer from the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, Vidulfo Rosales, reported that the head of the PGR did not pronounce herself about the “historical truth” established by the previous Attorney General, Jesús Murillo Karam, but rather only indicated that the case continues to be open. The third report from GIEI, published in May 2015, confirmed that the fate of the 43 students victimized by forcible disapeparance cannot be considered resolved in any sense, considering the version and evidence offered by the PGR: firstly, because there exist allegations of torture on the part of some of these persons whose declarations are based on their understanding of the case, and secondly, because there is no solid motive that would explain the beginning of the line advanced by the federal authorities.

It bears mentioning that the GIEI is comprised of 5 international and independent experts who operate under the precautionary measures awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in the case of the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa. The GIEI will be releasing a series of recommendations to the Mexican State regarding the case and the situation of forced disappearance in Mexico.

For more information (in Spanish):

Boletín de prensa GIEI (9 de julio de 2015)

Nuevas líneas de investigación para Ayotzinapa (SIDIDH, 10 de julio de 2015)

Tercer boletín GIEI (11 de mayo 2015)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

National/Guerrero: Nine months after the Ayotzinapa atrocity, relatives express that they will not be silenced (2 de julio de 2015)

Chiapas/Guerrero: Delegation of relatives and comrades of Ayotzinapa students tour CNI communities (29 June 2015)

Guerrero/National: 8 months after the forcible disappearance of the 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, there is no progress (9 June 2015)

Guerrero: Ayotzinapa – seven months of impunity and struggling for justice (3 May 2015)

Guerrero: IACHR experts confirm that the Ayotzinapa case is a forcible disappearance and a crime against humanity (10 April 2015)