July 15, 2016
LAWGEF joined eleven other organizations in a letter to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to express concern over the delays in implementing the follow-up mechanism in the case of the disappearance of the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa rural teachers’ college and to demand the immediate implementation of an effective mechanism that responds to the concerns of the families of the disappeared students. The Mexican government, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the students’ families, and the human rights organizations that have been accompanying them have been in discussions for the past two months on the design of a follow-up mechanism since the Interdisciplinary Group of Experts (GIEI) released their final report on the case at the end of April.
“The way that the Mexican government handled the Ayotzinapa investigation is an example of how it has handled other cases of human rights violations—obstructing justice, blocking the Group of Experts’ access to areas of the investigation, and taking actions without any respect for the students and their families. It now drags its feet on the implementation of a much-needed follow-up mechanism. The investigation of this case is far from over. If the follow-up mechanism does not include the recommendations of the families and accompanying organizations, it too will be another example of the Mexican government’s failure to provide justice to victims of human rights violations,” states Daniella Burgi-Palomino, LAWGEF Senior Associate for Mexico, Migrant Rights, and the Border.
The letter describes the terms that the mechanism should include, such as: 1) a mandate to provide follow-up to all of the recommendations in the Group of Experts’ two reports and to the IACHR’s precautionary measures; 2) a full-time operational team of at least two people who are able to enter and be present in Mexico without time restrictions; 3) periodic visits by the IACHR; 4) the dissemination of informational updates; and 5) full access to case information granted to the mechanism’s team and the IACHR.
In addition to LAWGEF, the letter was signed by the following organizations: Amnesty International; Peace Brigades International (PBI); Centro de Estudios de Derecho, Justicia y Sociedad (Dejusticia); Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS); Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL); Conectas Direitos Humanos; Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF); JASS (Just Associates); Open Society Justice Initiative; Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights; and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA).
See our list of previous resources on the Ayotzinapa case here.