Experts ask the Mexican government to continue search for 43 missing students from Iguala
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights believes what happened to missing students is uncertain
The district attorney of Mexico concluded this past January that the 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 has been in Mexico since the beginning of this month 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. This is allegedly where hired assassins, after receiving the students from the Iguala city police on the night of September 26, 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. This would still be 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.
Throughout the investigation, authorities have come across countless more victims. Iguala is surrounded by mountains that in recent years have become unmarked graves for dozens of people whose disappearances have not been investigated. The committee has recommended to the police that they utilize a laser technology to locate ditches in the mountains that may indicate the locations of undocumented graves.
International experts- the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts, or GIEI- 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 . 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 discovering the truth.
The case has pressured the credibility of Mexican institutions. The tragedy in Iguala involves politicians, police, and local drug traffickers, a lethal combination of the worst actors when it comes to security that affects the country. Despite the 99 detainees and hundreds of secret police and interrogators, the doubts about the investigation have weighed heavily on one of the most prominent men of Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration, attorney general Jesús Murillo Karam.
Since the students disappeared, a group of families has set up a vigil in the schoolyard the students attended. The school of Ayotzinapa is a source of elementary school teachers for Guerrero’s rural zones, one of poorest and most violent regions of the country.