Things That Matter

New Arrest Warrants Have Been Issued In The Case Of Mexico’s Missing 43 And Families Hope For Justice

For six years, Mexico has been desperately trying to uncover the truth behind Mexico’s Missing 43. After a botched initial government response, a corrupt follow-up investigation and years of agony, the current administration has committed itself to laying out the truth for the victim’s families.

Thanks to a new investigation, the Attorney General has announced several new arrest warrants for suspects related to the case and announced that they have one key suspect already in custody.

Now, families of the missing students have a glimmer of hope as authorities say that justice for their missing loved ones is closer than ever before.

Mexico’s Attorney General has requested 46 arrest warrants related to the 43 missing students.

Mexico’s Attorney General, Alejandro Gertz Manero, issued a statement saying that his team of prosecutors have requested 46 warrants for the arrest of municipal officials in Guerrero state, in connection with the disappearance and presumed murder of 43 teaching students in September 2014.

Gertz said in a video message that the officials are sought for the crimes of forced disappearance and organized crime in relation to the kidnapping of the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College students.

In his statement, he also singled out the previous presidential administration for dropping the ball on the investigation.

“It’s necessary to make it very clear that these crimes weren’t even investigated” let alone prosecuted by the former government’s prosecutors, he said.

Mexico’s Missing 43 disappeared after attending a protest in the nearby town of Iguala. As they were travelling back from Iguala to Ayotzinapa, they were confronted by municipal police who opened fire on the buses they were travelling in. An official government report published during the presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto said the students had been seized by the municipal police officers who handed them over to the Guerreros Unidos drugs gang.

The new arrest warrants come after the government also announced warrants for officials from the previous presidential administration related to the case.

Credit: Brett Gundlock / Getty Images

The attorney general said the 46 new arrest warrants sought are in addition to warrants obtained in March against former Attorney General’s Office officials, including the ex-head of the Criminal Investigation Agency, Tomás Zerón, who has reportedly fled Mexico.

Gertz said that an Interpol red notice had been issued against Zerón, who is wanted on charges of torturing people detained in connection with the students’ disappearance, forced disappearance, evidence tampering and altering a crime scene.

The attorney general said the location of Zerón is known but didn’t disclose it. It is believed he might be in Canada but authorities are also searching for him in the United States, Guatemala, Belize and Europe.

Prosecutors also announced that they had a prime suspect in custody.

In addition to the new arrest warrants, authorities also announced that they had a prime suspect already in custody. Police arrested Ángel Casarrubias, who has extensive connections with the Guerreros Unidos cartel – his brother is its leader.

Casarrubia’s brother was detained shortly after the students went missing and allegedly confessed to the crimes, saying that his cartel had killed the students and burned their bodies.

However, he later said his confession had been extracted under torture and filed an official complaint. A judge dismissed the charges brought against him over the disappearance of the missing students arguing that his confession had been extracted under duress. But he remains in prison on separate charges of links to organised crime.

Ángel Casarrubias had eluded police until last week. He was finally captured on Wednesday in Mexico state but his detention was only made public on Monday.

Families are cautiously optimistic that there could soon one day be justice for their missing loved ones.

Credit: Brett Gundlock / Getty Images

For more than six years, families of the missing students have mourned the uncertain loss of their loved ones. Their story has been the subject of countless documentaries and art projects, including one by famed Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei.

Although these are major developments in the case, Felipe de la Cruz, a spokesman for the parents of the missing students, said he and the other parents would “wait and see” if Ángel Casarrubias could contribute fresh information about what happened to their children.

He added that what the parents would like to see is the arrest of Tomás Zerón, the former head of investigations for the Prosecutor-General’s office who led the probe into the students’ disappearance.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Mexico Looks To Ban Beauty Pageants For Contributing To Machismo Attitudes And Violence Against Women

Things That Matter

Mexico Looks To Ban Beauty Pageants For Contributing To Machismo Attitudes And Violence Against Women

Paras Griffin / Getty Images

Beauty pageants have long been an integral part of Mexican celebrations – from Carnival to fiestas celebrating a Pueblo’s patron saint, they’re extremely common. However, as violence against women soars to new records across the country, Mexico’s newly formed ‘Gender Equality Commission’ has introduced new measures that would effectively ban beauty pageants.

The commission sees beauty pageants as contributing to gender stereotypes, machismo attitudes, and, in turn, endemic violence against women.

However, many Mexicans have already voiced their strong opposition to the proposed rules and intent to fight back against them.

Mexico’s Gender Equality Commission has announced new rules that would ban beauty pageants in the country.

The Mexican Congress has taken up recommendations that the country move to ban beauty pageants. The new bill, based on recommendations from the Gender Equality Commission, would include new provisions to the general law on Women’s Access to a Life Free of Violence.

The commission introduced several new provisions meant to help reduce violence against women, but the one that many Mexicans are talking about is the potential beauty pageant ban – as beauty pageants are a major part of Mexican society.

Members of the commission expressed their objection towards any such form of competition in which beauty or physical appearance of women, girls, or adolescents is evaluated in full or in part based on sexist stereotypes.

“We believe that beauty contests are events which show women through socio-cultural standards and under gender stereotypes as an instrument to maintain the concept of a female body as an object. This limits the personal development of the participants,” the members added.

Under the new guidelines, pageants will not be able to use public resources, official promotion, subsidies and any kind of economic or institutional support for carrying out these kinds of shows. It’s also possible that privately-funded pageants could be subject to the ban.

Mexico has long suffered from gender-based violence but the issue is getting worse year after year.

Credit: Toyo Sarno Jordan / Getty Images

In Mexico, the rallying cry “Ni Una Menos” has been on the tips of everyone’s tongue as violence against women has spiraled out of control in 2020. Before the Coronavirus pandemic forced people to stay home, hundreds of thousands of Mexicans took part in some of the largest protests ever seen across the country, denouncing the growing violence epidemic.

So far, an average of 10 women are killed everyday in Mexico. And 911 calls for domestic violence are up more than 60%, as women are forced to stay home with their abuser.

Meanwhile, the country’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has brushed off the killings as being sensationalized by his opposition to make him look bad. In fact, after news broke of a recent woman’s murder, AMLO was asked about her death at a press conference. However, he told reporters that he did not want to talk about gender-motivated killings of women because he did not want “femicides to distract from the raffle,” referring to a raffle his administration had organized around the sale of the presidential airplane.

The country has a long history of competing in international beauty pageants.

Credit: Miss International Queen

Beauty pageants have been popular in Mexico for several decades and many Mexicans have preformed well at both national and international competitions. So it’s no surprise that many have come out against the announcement and expressed their sadness about the end of pageants.

Several Mexican women have won big at international competitions, including: Vanessa Ponce De Leon (Miss World 2018), Sofia Aragon (2nd Runner Up Miss Universe 2019), and Andrea Toscano (1st Runner Up Miss International 2019).

A Mexican transgender woman also won out over contestants from 21 countries, at Thailands Miss International Queen. Valentina Fluchaire was crowned queen in 2019 at the annual pageant for transgender women in Thailand.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Police In Guadalajara Threatened To Make Protesters “Disappear” And Now Days Later 29 Protesters Are Still Missing

Things That Matter

Police In Guadalajara Threatened To Make Protesters “Disappear” And Now Days Later 29 Protesters Are Still Missing

@MarioMarlo / Twitter

Communities around the world are rising up against unchecked police brutality and a system that operates with impunity. Mexico has long been a hotbed of corruption and unchecked police power, but much like in the United States, Mexicans are taking to the streets to voice their outrage.

The recent killing of an unarmed Mexican who was taken into custody after not wearing a face mask on public transport, has provoked unrest in cities across the country. And, also like in the U.S., the police reacted to protests with brutal force that left several injured – and now reports say that 29 protesters are missing or unaccounted for.

Protests in Guadalajara have left 29 protesters missing or unaccounted for – and many fear the worst.

Credit: Francisco Guasco / Getty

Across Mexico, people have taken to the streets to demand justice for Giovanni López – a man who died in police custody after being arrested for not wearing a face mask on public transit. The protests have taken place in cities across the country – also inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter protests taking place across the globe.

At the protests, police reacted with extreme force and left many protesters injured. Many have also come forward with stories of having been abducted by police forces on their way to the march and then being abandoned and robbed in the outskirts of the city.

Protests began popping up across Mexico in response to the killing of a man in police custody after he didn’t use a mask on public transit.

Credit: Francisco Guasco / Getty

Inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter protests in responde to the killing of George Floyd, protests over police abuses have flared up all around the world – including in Mexico.

In Guadalajara, which many call Mexico’s Second City, protests lasted for three days after video surfaced showing city police detaining Giovanni López in the town of Ixtlahuacán de Los Membrillos. Police had detained him for failure to wear a mask on public transit.

When López’s family went looking for him the day after his arrest, they were told he had been taken to a public hospital in Guadalajara. They found him dead there with a bullet wound in his foot and signs of trauma. An autopsy concluded he had died from traumatic brain injury, according to local media.

The news of missing protesters come as many protesters say that police actually threatened to make them disappear.

As protests raged across Guadalajara, some 80 protesters were seized by police officers and held without cause and under extreme measures. So far, 29 of those protesters are still missing.

Victims and human rights activists have described how the Guadalajara protesters were intercepted before they even reached the demonstration. Those were kidnapped said that police stole their money, ID documents and even their cellphones before leaving them in abandoned areas far outside the city. Some even alleged they were shot with stun guns or beaten with clubs.

According to reports, there are still 29 protesters unaccounted for, which has revived difficult memories of the 2014 forced disappearances of 43 students from Ayotzinapa college. Police officers allied to a local drug cartel abducted students as they made their way to a demonstration in Mexico City. The remains of two of the students were later found, but six years on, the fate of the other 41 remains unknown.

For his part, Jalisco’s governor has apologized to protesters for how police responded to the protests.

Although he did try to blame the violence on out-of-state instigators, the state’s governor – Enrique Alfaro – said he was appalled that police had beaten protesters.

“It embarrasses me, it distresses me, it greatly pains me as a man from Jalisco, and as governor,” Alfaro said in a video posted on Twitter.

However, some believe that the federal authorities involved in the protests would not have acted that way without a green-light from the state’s governor.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com