The Mexican government has come under harsh fire once against over its handling of the forced disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa students as the victims’ lawyer has leveled new criticism accusing the federal Attorney General’s office of not only sidelining independent experts, but also wiping out evidence of irregularities in the investigation, the Mexican daily La Jornada reported Friday.
According to Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, attorney for the families of the 43 students, the Attorney General’s new report on the Ayotzinapa case eliminated references to evidence that cast doubt on the official version of events.
He added that the document showed a “bias” and “clear trend” of reinforcing the government’s story that the students were burned in the Cocula garbage dump—a claim repeatedly refuted by independent experts from Argentina, Austria, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
“This is very biased and disturbing,” the lawyer said of the report released earlier this week.
According to Rosales’ review, the report also failed to include observations of the case by Mexico’s national human rights organization and the Argentine forensic experts who already participated in analysing evidence in the case.
“If the government wants to get to 2018 with the Ayotzinapa case solved, the Cocula garbage dump does not offer that possibility,” Rosales said, according to La Jornada.
The Mexican government has long maintained that the 43 Ayotzinapa students were burned in the garbage dump in Cocula after being abducted police in Iguala and handed over to the gang Guerreros Unidos.
The report is the first to come after independent experts sent by IACHR to collaborate with Mexican authorities on the investigations were forced to abandon the case after the government refused to renew their mandate.
IACHR proposed special mechanisms to keep the independent experts involved in an advising capacity in the interests of ensuring that recommendations they made are carried out, but Mexico has not moved on the issue.
The World Organization Against Torture called on Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Thursday to accept the IACHR measures and expressed concern over alleged use of torture during the course of the Ayotzinapa investigations.
Meanwhile, Rosales has urged the Attorney General to reopen lines of investigation championed by the independent experts, saying that the garbage dump theory remains a key “issue of dispute, controversy, and uncertainty,” according to La Jornada.
Families of the Ayotzinapa victims have expressed frustration with authorities over failing to follow through on promises made in private meetings while aiming to cover up the truth and bury the case once and for all.