In Justice, Mexico

Mexico: Ayotzinapa 43 JESUS GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images)

By Alejandra Garcia,

Published on Resumen, Aug 23, 2022:

On September 26, 2014, 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Normal Rural School disappeared in the Mexican city of Iguala, in the Guerrero state, and their loved ones never heard from them again. Eight years later, the controversy remains unsolved despite the families’ endless calls for justice… After two years of intense investigations, the case has taken a new turn, giving the country renewed hope.
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On September 26, 2014, 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Normal Rural School disappeared in the Mexican city of Iguala, in the Guerrero state, and their loved ones never heard from them again. Eight years later, the controversy remains unsolved despite the families’ endless calls for justice.

After two years of intense investigations, the case has taken a new turn, giving the country renewed hope. On August 18, the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced that the case was a “State Crime,” dismissing the “Historical Truth” fabrication of former President Enrique Peña Nieto

Until then, the official version stated that a drug gang known as Guerreros Unidos kidnapped them and ordered their murder; but the new document reveals large-scale negligence by the authorities involved in the crime and its subsequent cover-up.

It should be remembered that the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa has a long tradition of social struggle and usually houses low-income students from marginalized areas of the state of Guerrero and other regions of the country who come there to be trained as teachers the return to their communities.

In 2014, this center was chosen as the location of a rally that would leave for Mexico City to take part in the marches that were going to happen on October 2, 2014, in honor of the Tlatelolco massacre that took place in 1968 where 300-400 primarily students were mowed down by government soldiers in the Plaza de la Tres Culturas.

The “Historical Truth” premise was that on September 26, dozens of students from 17 to 25 years old went to Iguala to commandeer buses that could take them days later to the capital. During the alleged robbery, “there were confrontations between students and police officers, who shot at the vehicles,” according to reports.

Two students died that night and a third one was found murdered and with signs of torture the following day. Likewise, dozens of young people were also detained and released shortly after. But it was never known what happened to the group of 43 students. Only the remains of three of them have been identified.

Enrique Peña Nieto’s version said that the students didn’t come to Iguala for the buses, but to protest an event of Maria de Los Angeles Pineda Villa, wife of the then-mayor of the town Jose Luis Abarca Velázquez -both of whom are in prison for their link to the students’ disappearances.

This “historical truth” was called into question from the beginning by victims’ relatives, national and international organizations, and AMLO’s administration, which has set out to “find the truth about the missing young people.”

In 2020, the Truth Commission for the Ayotzinapa (CVAJ), created just days into AMLO’s term, canceled and nullified the document issued by the Peña Nieto administration.

Two years later, on August 18, Mexican authorities determined that “The creation of the ‘historical truth’ was an organized action from the highest level of government, was aimed at concealing the truth of the facts, altered the crime scenes, and hid the links between authorities and the criminal group.”

The CVAJ report adds that “at all times federal, state, and municipal authorities knew of the students’ rally from the time they left the Isidro Burgos Normal School until they went missing.”

Their actions, omissions, and participation it concluded “allowed the disappearance and execution of the students, as well as the homicide of six other people,”

Right after the case was declared a Crime of the State, the seriousness of AMLO to get to the bottom of this was clear when prosecutors immediately arrested 20, army officers, five local officials, 33 local police officers, 11 state police and Jesús Murillo Karam the former Attorney General under then President Enrique Peña Nieto. The office of the current attorney general, Alejandro Gertz Manero, said Murillo Karam has been charged with torture, official misconduct and forced disappearance.

Although the hope of finding the 43 students alive is long gone, since all indications point to the fact that they were murdered and disappeared, Mexico and the relatives of the 43 young people yearn to close this nefarious chapter of the country’s history of violence and to call into account those responsible for this genocide and this latest development appears to be accelerating the process towards their day of justice.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano – US

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