Witnesses from Mexico will testify today to Parliament’s International Human Rights Subcommittee about the missing students of Ayotzinapa, and call for overdue Canadian action

studentsMEDIA ADVISORY

(Ottawa, April 28, 2015) The mother of one of 46 students from a teacher-training college in the Mexican community of Ayotzinapa who were killed or forcibly disappeared during a September 2014 attack by Mexican police and gunmen will testify before Parliament’s Subcommittee on International Human Rights this afternoon, along with a surviving student and a lawyer for the families of the victims.

Their goal is to make visible a disturbing pattern of grave abuses perpetrated by state security forces, and call for attention to serious failures on the part of government authorities to protect human rights in Mexico, a country that Canada has designated a so-called “safe country”.

The members of the Mexican delegation who will testify to Canadian MPs are:

  • Hilda Legideño Vargas, whose son Jorge Antonio was forcibly disappeared in the September 2014 attack;
  • Jorge Luis Clemente Balbuena, a student leader at the Ayotzinapa teachers’ college;
  • Isidoro Vicario Aguilar, a Me’phaa indigenous lawyer with the Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre, an award-winning NGO that represents families affected by the September 2014 attack and a prior attack in December 2011, in which two other Ayotzinapa students were killed.

The three witnesses will testify to members of the MP Sub-committee on International Human Rights from 1 to 2 PM on Tuesday, April 28, 2015.

Their appearance before the Subcommittee follows a tour through BC, Ontario, and Quebec to raise awareness about the attack on the Ayotzinapa students and an ongoing climate of danger for those who speak up about human rights violations in Mexico.  The tour is supported by more than 50 organizations in Canada.

Disappearance and Murder of Education Students in Guerrero, Mexico

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.

What happened?

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.

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Report on Torture in Guerrero from Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre

tlachiVidulfo Rosales, one of our speakers in the No More Blood Speaking Tour that took place in Canada in March 2012, works for Tlachinollan.  This Human Rights Centre has recently presented a report on torture in the state of Guerrero. The situation of this state has been characterized by high levels of impunity, discrimination against indigenous communities and drug-related violence. Click here to access report in English Info CAT 49 -Tlachinollan – MEX (ENG)