The disappearance of 43 Mexican students in 2014 was a “state crime” and was made possible by the Mexican police and military, among others. That is what the truth commission set up especially for the disappearance ruled on Friday after years of investigation, deputy director of the Mexican Human Rights Commission Alejandro Encinas has said. announced on friday. According to Encinas, there is no reason to believe that the students are still alive. The motive for the disappearance is still unclear.

    In the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, three buses on their way to Mexico City and packed with students from the teacher training center in the town of Ayotzinapa disappeared in September 2014. Investigations that followed could never determine exactly what had happened to the ’43 of Ayotzinapa’. To date, only three bodies have been found and identified.

    According to Enrique Peña Nieto’s previous Mexican government, local agents from the town where the students disappeared had mistaken them for gang members. They were then handed over to a local gang. That lecture was criticized because there were signals that the officers did know that they were students and that there was involvement at the federal and national level in the disappearance. Peña Nieto would have wanted to hide the true events. It became one of the biggest scandals of his reign.

    Collaboration

    When current president Andrés Manuel López Obrador took office in 2018, he immediately set up a truth commission to investigate the disappearance. The final report, released this Friday, is based on more than 41,000 documents, including transcripts of phone calls, text messages, videos and other reports.

    The researchers conclude that while local agents did indeed work with criminal gangs to make the students disappear, authorities at the federal and national levels were also involved in the disappearance. The government of the state of Guerrero, the Mexican army and the federal police were all aware of the route the buses were taking. When these disappeared on September 26, they failed to intervene. Although the Mexican armed forces were stationed five minutes away, soldiers did not help the students.

    The committee is also very critical of Peña Nieto’s government. He has “hidden facts, changed the crime scene and covered up the authorities’ ties to criminal groups.” Human Rights Commissioner Encinas says that “all testimonials and evidence” show that the students were “deviously murdered”. “It’s a sad reality.”

    Also read this analysis from 2018: Can the new Mexican president reconcile the country?

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