March 9, 2015. During the month of February, Mexico’s General Prosecutor’s Office (PGR) attempted to close the case of the 43 disappeared students of Ayotzinapa by arguing that, based on the testimonies from witnesses and evidence gathered in a landfill site in Cocula Guerrero, the students were incinerated by the criminal group Guerreros Unidos. The Argentine Forensic Team questioned this as they were not present during the collection of evidence in Cocula. The Forensic Team was also concerned about the possible manipulation of evidence in order to fit the PGR’s conclusions. Academics from Mexico’s National University also question the PGR’s argument and indicated that the physical evidence provided by the former contradicts the incineration argument. According to these experts, the burning of bone tissues requires special equipment, which was not available in the landfill site. Continue reading
Briefing note 22 January 2015
In an attempt to discredit the movement supporting the parents of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, the Mexican federal government as well as corporate interests have shifted their attention away from organized crime onto so called violent groups. Blocking streets and highways as well as other forms as non-violent peaceful demonstrations are seen by the federal government as violent actions.
In addition, the Association of Hotels and Motels of Acapulco has also claimed that protesters are destroying the economy of Guerrero. It is interesting that this Association was not outspoken about the effects of drug-related violence on their business in the past. Even more shockingly, the founder of the large Mexican multinational Grupo Bimbo declared that the disappearance of the 43 students is now being blown out of proportion and that families should move on with their lives.
In the meantime, General Prosecutor, Murillo Karam, has broken a disclosure agreement with the families of Ayotzinapa’s as well as attempting to close the case. The Prosecutor’s Office had an agreement with the families to inform the parents of any forensic results before any public announcements were made. This was not done as parents of the victims knew about the forensic results from the University of Innsbruck in Austria after Murillo Karam openly discussed this information in a press conference. In addition, Murillo Karam has further hinted at the possibility of closing the case soon based on the testimonies of arrested suspects.
The Mexican government is hoping that people will be distracted by the Christmas holidays and will forget the disappeared, particularly the search for the #42 #Ayotzinapa students. Do not let the Mexican government do that. Send the following message to twitter @EPN @PresidenciaMX “Search for the disappeared. Bring them back alive.” Here it is a video of the families of the #42 missing students describing how their Christmas is going to be this year.
Today, December 14, 2014, federal police attacked Ayotzinapa students in Chilpancingo, the capital city of the state of Guerrero, when the latter were organizing the concert “A Light in the Darkness”. This concert was supposed to take place tonight as a solidarity activity with the 42 missing students.
There are around 17 people injured, among them two relatives of the disappeared students, students of Ayotzinapa’s Teachers College, faculty of the CETEG and students from Mexico’s National University #UNAM.
The victims were denied medical assistance at the Red Cross. The federal police also took away the phones, wallets and shoes belonging to those injured during the attack.
Mexico Intelligence Agency Investigates Rights Defenders
Mexico’s intelligence agency is investigating and potentially filing reports that criminalize human rights defenders and lawyers who counsel the families of the disappeared Ayotzinapa students according to a new report released on Monday.
The lengthy report entitled: “Ficha Cisen a abogado de normalistas” written in the electronic investigative journal, Reporte Indigo, shows that Mexico’s Center for Research and National Security (CISEN) – an equivalent to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), has opened dossiers on human rights defenders from the Human Rights Center of the Mountain “Tlachinollan” calling them “dangerous to governance.”
The report details that Vidulfo Rosales, lawyer and representative of the 43 families of the Ayotzinapa students as well as Tlachinollan’s director, Abel Barrera are “elements” that pose a “threat” to the government and that the two participate in “subversive” activities.
The two have been vocal supporters of the families and have played the authorized voice on behalf of the families during meetings with the Interior Secretary, Attorney General and even the Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto.
“It is outrageous that public resources are used to weaken the human rights movement instead of using intelligence capabilities to combat infiltration and corruption by narco-governments and guarantee that serious human rights violations do not go unpunished,” declared a public letter signed by over a dozen reputable human rights organizations.
“The proven track record of Vidulfo Rosales as a lawyer and Abel Barrera as director, in defending human rights, has been instrumental in the region to counter impunity and abuse of power for years. We condemn the federal government’s attempt to discredit and harass the defense work in this context of profound risk due to their support of the families of the 43 students forcibly disappeared in Iguala on September 26th and 27th, 2014,” continued the letter.
The Human Rights Center of the Mountain “Tlachinollan” has defended and counselled the majority impoverished indigenous and farm working communities of the “Montaña” region of Guerrero for years, gaining them considerable popular and base support in nearby communities.