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  • Students from Ayotzinapa Teachers Training College Raul Isidro Burgos hold pictures of missing students outside the General Attorney building in Chilpancingo, in Guerrero, Oct. 7, 2014.

    Students from Ayotzinapa Teachers Training College Raul Isidro Burgos hold pictures of missing students outside the General Attorney building in Chilpancingo, in Guerrero, Oct. 7, 2014. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 February 2015

A U.N. committee accused Mexico of failing to adequately prosecute and convict individuals responsible for enforced disappearances.  

The United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances has published its concluding observations Friday about Mexico’s efforts to combat enforced disappearances at the request of the relatives of the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students.

"The grave case of the 43 students subjected to enforced disappearance in September 2014 in the state of Guerrero illustrates the serious challenges Mexico is facing in terms of the prevention, investigation and punishment for enforced disappearances and searching for the disappeared," the U.N. panel said.

Also read: Justice for Ayotzinapa

The experts voiced concern at "impunity regarding numerous cases of enforced disappearances."

The recommendations from the U.N. panel calls on the Mexican government to adhere to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICCPED), under which all signatory parties are required to fully investigate enforced disappearances and bring all those responsible to justice.

However, two weeks ago, Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said there was sufficient scientific evidence to conclude that the students were murdered and their bodies burned by local cartel members.

The relatives of the disappeared have stated that the case cannot be closed until the authorities can prove beyond any doubt that the victims were killed and/or all of their bodies are positively identified. 

The Mexican government ratified the ICCPED in 2010, which stipulates that all signatory parties’ allow the U.N. Committee on Enforced Disappearances authorization to hear individual cases of alleged disappearances and issue recommendations. 

However, last year, following the U.N.’s Universal Periodic Review of Mexico, Mexico objected to giving the U.N. panel on disappearances the ability to hear cases brought up by individuals amid concerns that this mechanism would be abused. 

According to official figures, almost 50 percent of the 22,322 disappeared people went missing between 2012 and 2014 under the current administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Enforced Disappearances/Mexico

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