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Authorities Violated Mexico’s Constitution Gathering Evidence In Case Of Missing 43 Students

On September 26, 2014, 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College vanished in the town of Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico. Reports from that night say local police clashed with the students, brought them into custody, and then handed them over to a local gang, Guerreros United. In the investigation that followed, several horrific details surrounding the incident were uncovered by investigators, details that could bring a case against those involved, and bring closure to the families affected. However, an unreleased internal report from Mexico’s government reveals that officials relied on illegal tactics and arrests during the course of the investigation, a fact that could threaten, according to the New York Times, “legal foundations” for any case brought to court.

An unreleased internal review shows that Mexico’s authorities violated the law when gathering evidence for this case.

CREDIT: VICE NEWS / YOUTUBE

According to the New York Times, the Mexican Constitution voids any evidence gathered as a result of illegal arrests. The now-buried internal review revealed that the police arrested suspects with little legal authority, and as a result, much of the evidence would probably not hold up in a court of law. In an apparent attempt to cover-up the damning results of the internal investigation, the 177-page document was never approved, leaving families and justice to live in limbo for the foreseeable future. The attorney general’s office claims, however, that the report hasn’t been released due to legal formalities, and that the case is still under review.


[H/T] Mexican Report Says Investigators Botched Search for 43 Students


READ: Mass Graves Discovered in Mexico, Families of 43 Ayotzinapa Students Want Answers

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Investigators May Have Found Remains Of The 43 Mexican Students Who Have Been Missing For 5 Years

AMLO Was Recently Sworn In As Mexico’s New President And Already Delivered On A Campaign Promise

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AMLO Was Recently Sworn In As Mexico’s New President And Already Delivered On A Campaign Promise

Mexico has sworn in their newest president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has vowed to bring an end to corruption, chronic poverty, and extreme violence that have plagued the country. One of his first acts as president will be creating a truth commission on to re-examine the case of 43 students whose disappearance in 2014. The case has come to represent the countless Mexicans who’ve vanished in a decade-long drug war. The Mexican people have been demnading answers for years and López Obrador is promising answers.

The 2014 case of missing students has come to symbolize the violence and corruption that has been seen throughout Mexico for over a decade.

The 43 students, who were studying to be teachers, disappeared in September 2014 from the city of Iguala after local police attacked the buses they were riding on their way to a protest. Survivors say police started shooting at unarmed students. The government of then-President Enrique Peña Nieto claimed that the students were handed over to a local drug gang, Guerreros Unidos (United Warriors), which killed and burned their bodies in a garbage dump.

Yet the Mexican government didn’t provide sufficient evidence to prove their claims. An international team of forensic scientists also contradicted the government report, stating that suspects had been tortured to obtain testimonies. In total, six people were fatally shot and 43 student teachers haven’t been found. To this day the remains of only one student have been identified. The murders have become a symbol of the corruption, dangers, and widespread disappearances throughout Mexico.

One of President López Obrador campaign promises is to re-examine the 2014 incident and has vowed to stop this type of senseless violence.

At a press conference, President López Obrador posed with the parents of the missing students, who displayed photos of their young ones, and promised an end to impunity and begin a wide-ranging investigation.

“The whole government is going to help with this plan and I can assure you that there will be no impunity either in this sad and painful case or in any other,” he told reporters.

The commission will include the parents of the 43 students, their lawyers and representatives from the interior, foreign and finance ministries, along with experts for the investigation. The commission will be led by Deputy Secretary Alejandro Encinas, who is Mexico’s sub-secretary for human rights as well as migration. The commission will begin a new investigation under a special prosecutor’s and will look at all leads, including those that were ignored by the former Mexican government.

Grieving families spoke up at the news conference about how the election of President López Obrador gives hope.

The truth commission will shine new light on the 4-year-old unsolved case that has left many families looking for answers. These families say they’ve been let down by the former Mexican government by not fully investigating the case and not using all available evidence.

“We ask you [López Obrador], as a father, to help us, to pull us out of this dumpster where Peña Nieto left us, and for you to gain the trust of all Mexicans, because we don’t trust anyone anymore,” María Martínez, the mother of one of the missing students, told Mexico Daily News. “We ask the rest of the country to put themselves in our shoes for just one day, for them to feel what it is to have a loved one missing, It’s not only our 43, there are thousands of other families suffering.”

The truth commission will be one of President López Obrador’s first orders but it might also be one of his most important.

For many Mexicans, the truth commission represents part of a new chapter in Mexico, where leadership has deceived and let down many for some time. President López Obrador was elected off a wave of anger about violence and corruption and has already fulfilled one of his campaigns promises to create the commission. Whether any of these families find any answers or clues to what happened to their loved ones is another question.

“I hope that we will soon know the truth. That there’s justice and an example is set so never again human rights are violated in our country,” Pres. Lopez Obrador said at the press conference. “So that no other Mexican suffers the disappearance of their children.”

READ: Mexico’s Outgoing President Is Honoring Jared Kushner With One Of Mexico’s Highest Honors

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