Experts ask the Mexican government to continue search for 43 missing students from Iguala
The committee of international experts believes what happened to them is uncertain
The district attorney of Mexico concluded this past January 43 students who disappeared from Guerrero, in the south of the country, were killed and burned in a dumpster. However, the group of experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights who analyzed the case explained last Thursday that what exactly happened to the students is uncertain and asked authorities to continue searching for them. “All of the possibilities are on the table,” Carlos Beristain, a Spanish psychologist and one of the investigators, said.
The committee, which has been in Mexico since the beginning of this month, has been evaluating if the authorities did everything possible to locate the students. Recently, it has requested that the PGR- the district attorney- approves satellite technology from other countries to obtain more photographs and better evidence on what happened in the garbage dump in Cocula, where hired assassins, after receiving the students from the Iguala city police, said the bodies had been cremated. According to their testimony, they threw the rest of the bodies in a river to erase the evidence.
The judicial consideration of the case is another issue that worries experts. The judge considers this to be a case of kidnapping and homicide. However, the committee has requested that authorities treat the case as forced disappearance, which is still considered a crime with a limited sentence and an injury against humanity. “Best case scenario, that would give him international relief,” Colombian lawyer Ángela Buitrago added.
Along the way, authorities have come across endless numbers of more victims. Iguala is surrounded by mountains that have become a mass grave in the past few years for a number of people whose disappearances have not been investigated. The committee has recommended to the police that they utilize a laser technology to locate deviations in the mountains that may indicate the locations of the undocumented graves.
International experts- the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts- admitted they have had full access to the investigation file. In a statement read to the press, they recognized “the good disposition, reception, facilities, and protection” that the Mexican authorities have provided them. This is not a free declaration. The general belief of the families, and the associations and organizations that consult them, is that the government is doing everything possible to shelve the investigation and is putting up obstacles to learning the truth.
The case is putting a gravestone on the credibility of Mexican institutions. The tragedy in Iguala involves politicians, police, and local drug traffickers, a deadly cocktail of the worst in the matter of security that affects the country. Despite the 99 detainees, hundreds of secret police and interrogators, the doubts about the investigation have faced the strongest men of the government, from Enrique Peña Nieto to attorney general Jesús Murillo Karam.
Since the students disappeared, a contingent of families has waited on the patio of the school the students attended, the school of Ayotzinapa. A reserve of professors has stopped Guerrero’s rural zones, one of poorest and most violent regions of the country.