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)

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Guerrero: PGR’s investigation of Iguala case continues to be lacking: CNDH

September 10, 2015

20150206_171628Photo @SIPAZ

Following the review of the information and status of the investigation of the Iguala case, the head of the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), Luis Raúl González Pérez, declared as “incomplete” the investigation undertaken by the Federal Attorney General’s Office into the forcible disappearance of the 43 student-teachers from Ayotzinapa, 10 months after the crime.  The CNDH found contradictory evidence, failures in the process, omissions, and a lack of attention and necessary assistance to clarify the events of 26-27 September 2014 in Iguala.  One of the omissions that the CNDH identified is that, nearly 10 months after the Iguala case transpired, the PGR lacks the identity cards of the 43 students.

The national ombudsman presented 32 proposals and observations to the authorities from the three levels of government so as to arrive at the truth of the Iguala case.  The organization suggests that nine soldiers be subpoenaed and demonstrates that there are periods in the timeline that are lacking, as well as isolated diligence in the video presented by the former head of the PGR, Jesús Murillo Karam, by which he arrived at the “historical truth” of the events.  Furthermore, González Pérez noted that there must be measures implemented to succeed in improving the accompaniment and support for the victims and their relatives, given that, for many reasons, they have not received adequate attention to date.

In a note published on 23 July, the organizations that have accompanied the relatives of the disappeared stress that “in the same sense as the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) empowered by the CNDH to assist in the case, the CNDH recommends as necessary that the State, Ministerial, and Federal police make their declarations, in addition to at least 9 soldiers.”

For more information (in Spanish):

A 10 meses de Ayotzinapa investigación de la PGR sigue incompleta: CNDH (La Silla Rota, 23 de julio de 2015)

La indagatoria de la PGR sobre Ayotzinapa, incompleta: CNDH (La Jornada, 24 de julio de 2015)

Ayotzinapa: Informe de la CNDH exhibe fallas, omisiones y pendientes de la investigación (Centro Prodh, 23 de julio de 2015)

NOTA | Fallas, omisiones y pendientes en la investigación de la PGR sobre Ayotzinapa: CNDH (CDHM Tlachinollan, 23 de julio de 2015)

CASO_IGUALA (Informe CNDH, 23 de julio de 2015)

Para más información de SIPAZ:

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

National/Guerrero: Nine months after the Ayotzinapa atrocity, relatives express taht 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)


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

July 22, 2015

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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)


National: Changes in EPN’s cabinet, as Murillo Karam resigns as Attorney General, and Lía Limón resigns from post as Subsecretary for Legal Affairs and Human Rights

March 10, 2015

Jesús Murillo Karam (@Wikipedia)

Jesús Murillo Karam (@Wikipedia)

At the end of February, following large protests in Mexico City in observance of five months since the forcible disappearance of 43 students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa in Guerrero, Jesús Murillo Karam, Federal Attorney General, presented his resignation from the post which he had held for more than two years.  He will now lead the Secretary for Agrarian, Territorial, and Urban Development (SEDATU) while Arely Gómez González, an attorney and senator, will direct the PGR.

On 4 March, the ex-PAN member Lía Limón García resigned from the Subsecretary for Legal Affairs and Human Rights, leaving Ricardo Sepúlveda Iguíniz in her place.  This latter figure had previously served as director general of Public Policies on Human Rights in the same institution.  The media indicated the Ayotzinapa case as a possible reason for her departure, given that she had been in charge of attention to victims and governmental responses to national and international human-rights groups that released alerts and recommendations regarding the forcible disappearance of the students.  Lía Limón will pursue a congressional seat, now that she has joined the Green Ecologist Party (PVEM).

For more information (in Spanish):

Murillo Karam deja la poderosa PGR y lo mandan a la marginal Sedatu(Proceso, 26 de febrero de 2015)

Sale Murillo Karam de PGR: es el primer cambio en el gabinete de Peña Nieto (Animal Político, 27 de febrero de 2015)

Peña remueve a Murillo Karam de PGR (La Jornada, 27 de febrero de 2015)

Ayotzinapa y otros casos emblemáticos de Murillo Karam a cargo de la PGR (CNN México, 28 de febrero de 2015)

Se va Lía Limón de Segob; intentó “indemnizar” a padres de los 43(Proceso, 3 de marzo de 2015)

Renuncia Lía Limón a subsecretaría; va por una diputación (La Jornada, 4 de marzo de 2015)


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)


Guerrero: Parents reject PGR declaration; organizations express concern for disqualification of defenders from Guerrero; HRW considers Tlatlaya and Ayotzinapa to be “State crimes”

November 13, 2014

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March in solidarity with Ayotzinapa in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, 22 October (photo @SIPAZ)

At a press-conference on 7 November, Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam reported that the 43 disappeared normalist students from Ayotzinapa were presumed to have been incinerated and their remains thrown into the Cocula river, in accordance with information provided by three members of the “United Warriors” drug cartel.  The remains that have been found will be sent to an Austrian university for a process that will take some time, for, given “their high grade of decomposition, it will be difficult to extract DNA for identification,” argued Murillo Karam.  “We do not accept” the PGR’s conclusions, as it “is attempting to close the case” of the 43 disappeared students, claimed a parent of one of the students, who insisted that “our sons are still alive.”  “Today they want to surprise us saying that they made ashes of our children, so that we could not recognize them,” observed another.  The parents claimed that the intention of this information was to “allow President Enrique Peña Nieto to go on tour and say that everything has been resolved.”  On 9 November, Peña Nieto began a trip to China and Asia, where he will participate in the meeting of the Forum for Asia-Pacific Cooperation and also attend the G-2o summit.

Beyond this, organizations that have followed the fate of the Mechanism of Protection for Human-Rights Defenders and Journalists expressed their concern for the declarations and information that come out in recent days against members of the social organizations who work in Guerrero state.  Their concern was directed in particular against the accusation of the interim governor Rogelio Ortega Martínez, who called into question the work of the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights, and against the report of the Mexican intelligence report that was leaked by media, which accuses the technical secretary of the Guerrero Network of having ties with a guerrilla group.  In a document signed by dozens of human-rights organizations, they note that “the recent declarations by the governor […] are immensely worrying, since, amidst this human-rights crisis, he calls on the director of Tlachinollan to join the state government.  It should be stressed that both the José María Morelos Pavón Regional Center as well as Tlachinollan form a part of the ‘All Rights for All’ National Network of Civil Human-Rights Organizations, and are organizations that have been recognized for their dedication to the strengthening of social leaders that are so lacking in the region, as for their juridical defense in cases of serious human-rights violations.”

In a press-conference, José Miguel Vivanco, representative of Human Rights Watch (HRW), claimed the disappearance of the 43 normalist students from Ayotzinapa as well as the murder of 22 persons in Tlatlaya, Mexico state, to have “dragged” the name of Peña Nieto and his government “through the mud” in the international arena.  He mentioned that the federal executive had wanted to show the world a “Mexico that is fictitious,” and that he withdrew from considering questions of human rights and security, holding them to be “toxic” for his international image.  The HRW representative stressed that both cases are “crimes of State” to which the judicial authorities have reacted tardily and inefficiently.  The extrajudicial execution of at least 12 people at Tlatlaya by Army units and the forcible disappearance of the 43 normalist students from Ayotzinapa must be included within the “gravest” cases of violence “in the contemporary history of Mexico and Latin America in recent years.”  He added, however, that these are not isolated events, but rather form part of an atmosphere of impunity and corruption.

For more information (in Spanish):

“No aceptamos” la hipótesis del asesinato de los normalistas, sostienen padres de desaparecidos (Desinformémonos, 7 de noviembre de 2014)

La desaparición de los 43 normalistas de Ayotzinapa pudo evitarse, dice el Frayba (La Jornada de Guerrero, 7 de noviembre de 2014)

Video: Los quemaron 15 horas, con leña, diesel, llantas, plástico.- PGR(Aristegui Noticias, 7 de noviembre de 2014)

Desaparición de normalistas deja “por los suelos” imagen del gobierno, a nivel internacional: HRW (Aristegui Noticias, 7 de noviembre de 2014)

Comienza Peña Nieto su gira de trabajo en China y Australia (Milenio, 9 de noviembre de 2014)

Inaceptable la postura del gobernador y la del gobierno federal, dicen defensores (La Jornada de Guerrero, 10 de noviembre de 2014)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Guerrero: Update in the Ayotzinapa case (12 November 2014)

Guerrero: Update in the Iguala case: former Iguala mayor is arrested; governor of Guerrero resigns; European Parliament divided over Ayotzinapa (3 November 2014)

Guerrero: municipal police of Iguala fire on students of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. Six have died (11 October 2014)