Nine days after the grave human rights violations against the students of the Rural Teacher Training School of Ayotzinapa in the state of Guerrero by police forces of the municipality of Iguala, 43 students are still missing after being detained by members of the local police. The three levels of government of the Mexican state have not fulfilled their obligation in the immediate search for the disappeared with due process and according to international standards.
Tlachinollan Centre, the Guerrero Network of Human Rights Organizations and the Human Rights Centre José Ma. Morelos y Pavón recognize the efforts by the parents of the disappeared students in initiating investigations regarding the disappearance of their loved ones. Yet, the reach of their efforts remains limited because they do not have the necessary resources. Official investigations continue to be ineffective because of the lack of intelligence work prior to the collection of the evidence in the crime scene and the absence of analysis of the information provided by arrested police officers and the pattern of the operations of organized crime in the region.
From Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre (September 29th, 2014)
On September 26, 2014, three students from the Rural Teacher Training School of the town of Ayotzinapa were among six people murdered extrajudicially by the municipal police of Iguala, Guerrero. This is a continuation of violence against the students of this school. In 2011, two students from this school were victims of extrajudicial killings during a public demonstration for better and inclusive education and job opportunities.
On September 26th, 2014, 80 students from the Rural Teacher Training School of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero boarded three buses to travel to the capital of the state after collecting funds for their underfunded school. Municipal police vehicles cut these buses off and started shooting at the passengers without warning, killing and injuring several others students.
August 30th is the International Day of the Disappeared. This day raises awareness of the fate of individuals whose whereabouts is unknown to their relatives and/or legal representatives in cases of involuntary disappereances because of armed conflict or authoritarian regimes. In preparation for this day, different human rights organizations and families of the disappeared are carrying out different events tomorrow throughout Mexico. Please support the families by sending a twitter to Mexico’s president asking him to #findthedisappeared@PresidenciaMX
If the twitter messages come from abroad, you will giving the families a lot of support.
The effects of the crisis on unemployment, wages and benefits have put Mexicans in a situation of economic insecurity. Disappearances complicate the economic circumstances of a victim’s family. The disappeared contributed with an important share of the household income through wages and social benefits such as health care and government housing assistance in the National Workers Housing Fund Institute (Instituto Nacional para el Fomento de la Vivienda de los Trabajadores or INFONAVIT). Families of the disappeared cannot receive any pension payments because the whereabouts of the victim is unknown, and therefore she or he cannot be declared dead. Also, the situation of uncertainty and worry for their loved ones has impacted families’ physical and emotional health. Health expenses therefore add to the costs of investigation and litigation in the absence of state authorities’ investigations in the context of economic and physical insecurity in the country.
If families want to retain social benefits and receive some form of pension, they have to apply for the presumption of death of the victim, which takes up to six year at least to complete. This impacts families emotionally because once the person is presumed dead, investigations end. Thus, families feel they betrayed their disappeared by having to choose access to basic services over looking for their missing relative.