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.

On March 24, 2015, people in Argentina remembered the military coup d’etat and the Ayotzinapa students

Briefing note on events related to disappearances in Mexico from February 5 to March 5, 2015

March 9, 2015. DuringNormalAyotzinapa-compartimos-el-dolor-a 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