(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.
Saltillo, Coahuila, April 16th, 2013
Through social networks and the media we have heard of the disappearance of four students from the School of Accounting and Administration of the Autonomous University of Coahuila (UAC) on Thursday April 11th, 2013 in the city of Monclova, Coahuila. United Forces for Our Disappeared in Coahuila (FUUNDEC) and the Diocesan Centre for Human Rights Fray Juan de Larios demand that these students, Cecilia Picazo, Marlyn Peña, Cynthia Rivera and Carlos Nuñez are found alive and safe.
Saltillo, Coahuila, April 8th, 2013. The previous weekend, the United Forces for Our Disappeared in Coahuila (FUUNDEC) held its bimonthly meetings with senior officials of the Federation and representatives of the Congress, convened by the Governor of the state of Coahuila. Additionally, the Governor took the time to attend and listen to the tracking of the cases, between the Public Prosecution Office and FUUNDEC. In this context, The Diocesan Centre for Human Rights and Fray Juan de Larios and the Human Rights Centre Juan Gerardi made the following considerations:
- After recognition of list of more than 27 thousand disappearances during the past six years, we finally have taken the first steps necessary to begin solving the humanitarian tragedy that means one of the most painful passages in the national history: recognizing the magnitude of the situation.
- In the first quarter of this year, FUUNDEC/FUNDEM and supporting organizations held meetings directly with the Secretary of the Interior, the Attorney General, human rights commissions of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, the Federal National Police and various national and international bodies, in order to bring national attention to the fate and whereabouts of the disappeared.
- In the latter event, the authorities agreed on the criteria to address all disappearances. Also, there is a commitment to organize an International Forum on Disappearances in Mexico organized by FUUNDEC/FUNDEM and the Government of the State of Coahuila, on June 5, 6 and 7, 2013 in Law School of the University of Coahuila.
- Additionally, following a request from FUUNDEC, the Governor and his cabinet witnessed the development of the investigations, in which the Public Prosecution Office informed the families of the current status of their case. Thus, policy makers of Coahuila, listened with attention and respect in circumstances of extreme pain to understand the shortcomings of the search for the disappeared.
We acknowledge the attention paid by these authorities. The Governor and his cabinet are now fully informed of the facts. This dialogue has not occurred in other states in our knowledge. The responsibility of the state government of Coahuila therefore is to promote with their counterparts in the National Commission of State Governors the need to have a comprehensive approach to disappearances with the federal government in order to have coordinated actions nationwide. The road is long, but these authorities are taking the first steps. Families are in a hurry to find their relatives. They also demand state actions determined by the consensus of the families with substantive results.
“Searching for our relatives restlessly”
United Forces for Our Disappeared in Coahuila│Diosecan Centre for Human Rights “Fray Juan de Larios” AC│Human Rights Centre “Juan Gerardi” AC
On Thursday 14 March, 2013, representatives of Mexican civil society organizations, including Ana Luna of the legal Area of CADHAC, participated in two hearings in the 147 ° session of the Inter-American Commission of Human rights (IACHR) in Washington, D.C.. The first, requested by the Mexican State was on the “Priorities in the field of human rights and legislative harmonization in Mexico”; and second, requested by organizations of civil society was on the “Challenges in the field of human rights in Mexico”. At both hearings, the Mexican Government delegation was headed by the Undersecretary of Legal Affairs and Human rights, Lia Limon.
Are you leaving with a clear conscience?
The members of FUNDEM wish to express our anger, outrage and boredom against Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, who caused the tragedy that left hundreds of thousands of orphans, maimed mothers, families torn apart and the latent pain for the next generations. FELIPE DE JESUS CALDERON HINOJOSA: The nation will remember you as the cruelest, the most bloodthirsty and inept President in the history of Mexico. Our sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters are not collateral damage of your war; they are innocent victims of your ambition, your political myopia, enormous ego and lust for power. Our relatives have names; they are not a number of a preliminary investigation or a lengthy Act. They have dreams, stories of life, and above all, a family that loves them and will look for them every moment of their lives. Continue reading