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News > Latin America

Rights Experts Give Damning Report on Mexico 'Injustice' System

  • Activists hold a sign that reads

    Activists hold a sign that reads "We are missing 43" during the delivery of the final report of the 43 Ayotzinapa students in Mexico City, April 24, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Published 25 April 2016

The group of independent foreign experts has been forced to end its work on the Ayotzinapa case despite the truth remaining buried.

Independent experts investigating Mexico’s 43 forcibly disappeared Ayotzinapa students, forced off the case by government hostility, reported that federal authorities manipulated evidence and refused to follow key lines of investigation, and protected perpetrators from facing justice in order to uphold the official story of students being burned in the Cocula garbage dump despite “not a single (shred of) evidence” supporting the claims, local media reported Monday.

Mexico Gov't Blocks All Possibility of Truth in Ayotzinapa Case

The damning findings were delivered Sunday as part of the over 600-page final report of the Interdisciplinary Group of Experts, known as the GIEI, which has been forced to end its work on the case abruptly due to the government’s refusal to extend its mandate.

The report stressed several serious problems with the Mexican justice system that perpetuates impunity for crimes, including a lack of judicial independence, systematic interference in forensic investigations, and a short-sighted emphasis on the perpetrators of various abuses instead of a focus on potential masterminds behind crimes with consideration to a larger context. 

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which assembled the GIEI over a year ago, has reported that the Ayotzinapa case is an “emblematic” example of Mexico’s state collusion with organized crime groups that points to “grave deficiencies” including structural impunity.

The IACHR welcomed the final report and urged Mexican authorities to follow the recommendations in completing the investigation. Human rights defenders fear that without the participation of independent experts, the families of the 43 students will never see justice served.

Ayotzinapa Case, a Stone in Mexican President Peña Nieto's Shoe

But the IACHR plans to develop a new mechanism to monitor the rest of the investigation in accordance with international standards to help push Mexican authorities toward getting to the bottom of the case.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto wrote on his Twitter account that the Attorney General’s office will analyze the GIEI report in full to “enrich” the investigation on the “tragic acts” that disappeared the 43 Ayotzinapa students in Iguala, Guerrero, in September 2014.

But the comments are at odds with how federal authorities have conducted the probe and treated foreign experts, who have recently been sidelined as Mexican prosecutors made unilateral conclusions that manipulated evidence to support the government’s “historical truth” on the case.

Families of the 43 Ayotzinapa students continue to demand justice for their loved ones and plan to protest yet again on Tuesday to mark 19 months since the enforced disappearance.

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