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News > Latin America

Mexican Army Implicated in Ayotzinapa Case Will Finally Testify

  • Activists clash with officials when trying to gain access to the military zone of the 27th infantry battalion in Iguala, Guerrero last year.

    Activists clash with officials when trying to gain access to the military zone of the 27th infantry battalion in Iguala, Guerrero last year. | Photo: Reuters

Published 24 December 2015
Opinion

The lawyer representing the 43 Ayotzinapa parents say the “meeting will tell us nothing” after over a year of hearing contradictory statements from officials.

Mexico's 27th Infantry Battalion—the army group implicated in the disappearances of the 43 Ayotzinapa students last September—has finally agreed to speak with legislators after more than a year of resisting and avoiding such talks.

The army group from Iguala, Guerrero—where the students went missing on Sept. 26, 2014—was mandated to speak with legislators by the newly created Special Commission for the Ayotzinapa case, an independent research group supported by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Their testimony is expected to drastically boost the case and clarify the students' whereabouts, since observers and human rights groups have long believed that the army witnessed what happened the night the students went missing.

IN DEPTH: Justice for Ayotzinapa

According to officials, the 27th Battalion authorities will only meet with members of the legislature.

In addition to the testimony, the Secretariat of National Defense has agreed to a request that legislators be allowed to visit and investigate the facilities of the Infantry Battalion, located in Iguala.

Araceli Damian, minister for the newly created left-wing party Morena and member of the legislative committee, also added that the committee will seek interviews with individual soldiers.

“We have a pending meeting with the 27 Battalion, who have already responded that they will allow it. We have nothing more to clarify except the shape the meeting will take, but yes we are thinking of interviewing the soldiers,” confirmed Damian.

Details of the talks will be discussed with the Secretariat of National Defense in January, and a meeting is expected to be confirmed by February, according to Damian.

The meeting has been met with some resistance from the parents of the 43 disappeared students who say the meeting “will not tell us anything.”

OPINION: 'It Was the State': Unmasking the Official Ayotzinapa Narrative

“For us this meeting means nothing, it is irrelevant. This Commission has not even been able to meet with parents,” said Vidulfo Rosales, lawyer for the Committee of the parents of the 43 Ayotzinapa students.

He added that the meeting “will not hinder” the case, “but that it will not tell us anything,” he said.

The lawyer's comments come after over a year of hearing government statements or explanations about the case that have since been proven to be false or contradictory.

WATCH: Mexico: New Evidence Shows Ayotzinapa Students Were Not Burned

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