It has been 7 years in Mexico since the disappearance of the 43 normalistas from Ayotzinapa with only three identified

It has been 7 years in Mexico since the disappearance of the 43 normalistas from Ayotzinapa with only three identified

Mexico seven years from Ayotzinapa with only three identified and a fugitive official.

Photo: Sáshenka Gutiérrez / EFE

The disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, one of the greatest human rights tragedies in Mexico, turns seven this Sunday with only three of the young people identified and the main investigator of the case in the previous government, Tomás Zerón, a fugitive in Israel.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador ordered almost three years ago to resume the searches, with which the remains of two new students were identified, and to investigate those responsible for the past Administration who shelved the case with a false account of the events constructed from torture witnesses.

Nevertheless, the satiety begins to emerge among the families, who gave a vote of confidence to the Truth Commission created by López Obrador, but that they feel that the Attorney General’s Office and the Army are hindering the process.

In addition, they reach this seventh anniversary without new findings and touched by the recent death by covid of two parents who will never know the whereabouts of their children.

Three identified remains

According to the controversial version of the Government of Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa school for teachers were arrested on the night of September 26, 2014 by corrupt policemen in Iguala (Guerrero) and handed over to the Guerreros Unidos cartel, which murdered and incinerated them in the Cocula garbage dump and dumped the remains in a nearby river.

This story, known as the “historical truth,” was questioned by the next of kin and by an investigation by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and its Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), which indicated that the bodies could not be burned in that place.

The current Government definitively collapsed this version by identifying unburned remains of Christian Rodríguez in 2020 and of Jhosivani Guerrero last June, both in the Carnicería ravine, outside the garbage dump.

These two identifications are in addition to that of Alexander Mora, whose remains were found in the river in 2014.

“The identification of a bone remnant of another of the boys is a very relevant advance, but for the families it knows very little because the expectation was different: they wait for the facts to be clarified,” Santiago Aguirre, director of the ProDh Center, told Efe , NGO that accompanies families.

The Truth Commission, led by Alejandro Encinas, assumes that the students were never together in the same place and that criminals and security forces of all levels participated in the disappearance, not just municipal police.

A year ago, on the sixth anniversary of the tragedy, the president announced that for the first time there were arrest warrants against the military in the case and shortly afterwards Captain José Martínez Crespo was arrested.

But in several acts of protest this week, the families have denounced that, although they value the efforts of the Truth Commission and the specialized prosecutor, Omar Gómez, the Attorney General’s Office procrastinates the arrests and the Army hides information.

Of the 89 arrest warrants for the Ayotzinapa case, 40 are still pending. Likewise, at least 21 linked people have died or been assassinated, making it increasingly difficult to access the truth.

Against the ‘Historical Truth’

The arrest warrants include, in addition to the perpetrators, former government officials who designed the “historical truth.”

During a meeting on Friday between the Government and the families, López Obrador announced that he sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Israel, Naftali Bennett, to speed up the delivery of Tomás Zerón, who fled to that country with which Mexico does not have an extradition treaty.

The former director of the now defunct Criminal Investigation Agency is accused of constructing the “historical truth” with the fabrication of evidence and the torture of suspects and witnesses.

In fact, the specialized prosecutor’s office has collected 40 videos of torture during the investigations.

The violation of the prisoners’ rights also caused judges to release some of those implicated in the disappearance.

Zerón is not the only one investigated, since there are arrest warrants against those responsible for the previous Administration, but he is the one with the highest rank.

“The possible responsibility of senior officials of the previous government has not yet been seriously investigated,” Aguirre said.

ANDIn the sights of the families would be the then Attorney General, Jesús Murillo Karam, the Secretary of the Interior Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong and even President Peña Nieto himself.

The Ayotzinapa case is emblematic in a country that is going through a severe crisis with more than 90,000 people missing since 1964, the vast majority after 2007, the year the war against drug trafficking began.

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