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Mexico: After four years of failed investigations, the state must guarantee truth and justice for the 43 students from Ayotzinapa

    September 24, 2018

    After four years of trying to hide the truth about the enforced disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa, the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto has one final chance to take appropriate action and stop obstructing the creation of a special investigative commission, Amnesty International said today.

    “The world is watching Mexico, waiting for the government to finally guarantee the victims’ rights by permitting the creation of an investigative commission that can uncover the truth of what happened and achieve justice for the 43 students of Ayotzinapa and their families,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    On 26 September 2014, 43 students of the Ayotzinapa teaching school were forcibly disappeared in Iguala, in the southern state of Guerrero. Despite intense international and domestic pressure, including from the families of the disappeared students, their whereabouts are still unknown, as are the events that led to these grave human rights violations.

    This is just one among thousands of cases of disappeared people in Mexico. In the last four years, the official count of the disappeared rose from 22,000 to 37,000.

    Shortly after the events, on 16 October 2014, President Peña Nieto publicly declared the resolution of the case a priority for the Mexican state. Since then, however, the government has chosen to state publicly that the truth has been found in a theory of events that has been repeatedly declared false by international experts and local organizations.

    In June, a federal court ordered the creation of a special investigative commission for this case. But the government has made coordinated efforts to present nearly 200 legal actions that seek to avoid the creation of the commission at all costs.

    “The government of Peña Nieto has again turned its back on what now appears to be the only path toward revealing the truth. With this decision, the government is doubling down on its lack of commitment to solving this case,” said Tania Reneaum, executive director of Amnesty International Mexico.

    The students’ families have watched with heartbreak as, every time it appears that there has been a step forward toward the truth, the Mexican government shows that its only objective is to bury the truth and the students’ case with it.

    “After four years of trying to cover up the facts, it is unlikely that the current administration will take the steps necessary to solve this case. The incoming administration therefore has before it the difficult task of taking all necessary measures to change course and guarantee the victims’ rights to truth, justice and reparation,” concluded Tania Reneaum.

    If you would like more information or to arrange an interview, contact: Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

    More information:

    Mexico: Peña Nieto insists on covering up the truth about 43 forcibly disappeared students (News, 29 August 2018)

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/08/mexico-pena-nieto-insiste-en-cubrir-la-verdad-sobre-los-43-estudiantes-desaparecidos-forzadamente/

    Mexico: Government insists on hiding the truth about Ayotzinapa (News, 18 July 2018)

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/07/mexico-gobierno-insiste-en-ocultar-la-verdad-sobre-ayotzinapa/

    Mexico: Authorities must refocus investigation into the forced disappearance of 43 students (News, 12 April 2018)

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/04/mexico-autoridades-deben-reenfocar-investigacion-de-la-desaparicion-forzada-de-los-43-estudiantes/

    Mexico: Damning UN report highlights cover-up in case of 43 disappeared students (News, 15 March 2018)

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/03/mexico-damning-un-report-highlights-cover-up-in-case-of-43-disappeared-students/