Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Ref: Fact Sheet

May 10, 2016.

Ayotzinapa case.

Brief description of facts

As is widely known, on September 26, 2014 students of the Rural Normal Raúl Isidro Burgos Ayotzinapa, Guerrero were attacked indiscriminately by different security forces of the State with the participation of organized crime, in different places and scenarios of the city of Iguala, Guerrero, with a balance of 43 missing students, 3 killed and five injured. In addition and in different scenarios have been killed 3 people and injured a dozen more.

Current status of the case

Days after the fact the Attorney General's Office (PGR) initiated the preliminary investigation number PGR / SEIDO / UEIDMS / 001/2015 in connection with the disappearance of 43 student teachers. In late 2014 the Attorney General issued a public statement in regards to conclusions in the investigation. This he called the "historical truth" of the case Ayotzinapa. These findings were based mainly on oral evidence.

The testimonies said that 43 students had been delivered by the Municipal Police Iguala and Cocula the criminal group Guerrero Unidos who then murdered them, then built a pyre of wood in which cremated their bodies and ashes have been thrown into Rio San Juan.

In the public dump of Cocula hundreds of skeletal remains were analyzed by experts of the PGR and the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF) found. All of the scientific studies have failed to show that the traces of human remains correspond to the missing students. By contrast, independent surveys as the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE) and EAAF have established that there is no physical evidence that leads to the conclusion that on 26 and 27 September there had been a fire of the necessary dimensions to incinerate 43 people.

On November 12, 2014 and as part of the Precautionary Measures MC / 409/14 with the Mexican State, the Commission and representatives of the victims signed a technical assistance agreement by which a group of experts would instituted to help with investigations, recommending lines of inquiry and investigation of the missing and developing a plan of the care victim's kin.

With the cooperation of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE) in our country, the research took a different turn. In September 2015 the IGIE issued its first report. In unveiled data and elements important for further investigations. For the first time the government's "historical truth" came to be questioned and suggestions for new lines of research based upon the existing evidence which was presented in the first report.

Mothers and parents of the 43 missing students and their representatives demanded that the government continue research because there are no truths established in the investigation of the case and called for the creation of a specialized unit within the PGR to conduct the investigations.

At the end of 2015 the Special Unit for the Investigation Case Ayotzinapa (the Unit) composed of a multidisciplinary team that took over the case, establishing new lines of investigation and search was created. The IGIE worked closely with the Unit, with recommendations of diligence and performing searches. However, the new research body did not have the institutional support of the Federal government, and often lacked independence and institutional strength, so that the critical decisions of investigations of the case were assumed by other areas and directors within the PGR. Even further, the Unit it began to hinder the work of IGIE. They repeatedly denied entry to the prisons to interview detainees by Ayotzinapa long case and were given to their applications.

In the months of February and March this year a smear campaign was launched against members of IGIE trying to diminish their prestige, orchestrated by the media, during which the government never issued a public stance of institutional support for the Interdisciplinary Group of International Experts.  Conversely, in many cases the public discourse of senior officials of the Federal Government was in tune with media fabrications.

April 30 of this year marked the end the second term of IGIE without the possibility of a third term because the Mexican government refused to create the conditions to allow for an extension, although pending investigations are not elucidated and still the whereabouts of the normalistas is unknown.

However, on 24 April this year the IGIE gave their second and final report from which there stand three fundamental elements:

a) The report describes a deficient and irregular research with which he hid and obstructed the truth and justice, as shown.

b) That the work is hindered IGIE.

c) That the accused were tortured and mainly those whose statements support the official truth.

d) New data and research were established.

e) As such research must continue the tenor of the data elements described in the reports of IGIE, establishing a new narrative of the facts and emphasizing other routes different to the dustbin of Cocula research that offers no prospects truth and justice.

What's next for the mothers and fathers:
From the perspective of the government, the research on the Ayotzinapa case is purportedly conclusive, the thesis of the Public Dump of Cocula is the official truth, and therefore, the case is solved. With more than 180 arrests the conditions are now so that in the coming months all the preliminary investigation will be presented as appropriate and the case will be declared closed.

A third course of Expert opinion issued by a panel of six incendiary experts, still unfinished, seems to confirm this. On 1 April improperly and without regard to IGIE, the PGR and the panel of incendiary experts made public the conclusions of this third group of experts by establishing three quite confusing conclusions:

a) That, there was an incendiary event of a controlled large fire in the Public Dump of Cocula, b) That the fire were burned 17 people c) that more large-scale testing will be have to be done to determine whether the burning of 43 bodies 43 is possible. 

As can be inferred from the conclusions themselves follows that the third expert report is not a final document, however the media presented it as such, even making tendentious interpretations and assurances of fact and circumstances not expressed by the opinion itself.

The EAAF has clearly refuted this third report, and even made public the scientific issues in debate to generate an informed public. Stressing that there is no physical evidence that the skeletal remains found belong to the 43 students of Ayotzinapa; or that the fire mentioned by the third report corresponds to that of 26 and 27 September 2014, because there multiple fires events have occurred.

In fact, to date the whereabouts of the normalistas has not been established, the government thesis of the Public Dump of Cocula still has a number of inconsistencies that only gives more uncertainty to parents.

In the second report as we have expressed realizes the existence several elements, testing and research that needs o be exhausted to clarify what happened to the 43 normalistas. Far from closing the case the IGIE has expressed the need to establish a new narrative of facts, the removal from office of officials who have obstructed the truth and follow up on the recommendations of its reports.

From the perspective of parents and students what is necessary is an objective, prompt and impartial investigation with international scrutiny. Therefore, the demand is that the Mexican State act to implement the Special Mechanism for follow-up which was called for by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights at its 157th session on 14 April 2016, since the Mexican government has refused to answer the call by the Commission to finalize the monitoring mechanism in reference to the case of Ayotzinapa.