February 5, 2016
On February 5, 2015 LAWGEF joined eight other organizations in denouncing the defamation campaign against the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI, by its acronym in Spanish) investigating the enforced disappearance of the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa rural teacher’s college in Mexico. LAWGEF and the other organizations reiterate our full support for the GIEI and its preliminary findings and recommendations and call on the Mexican government to publicly acknowledge the important work of the GIEI and expend maximum effort to determine the whereabouts of the students.
As the statement notes, the coordinated defamation campaign against the Group of Experts has been escalating and gaining coverage in the Mexican media. Meanwhile, the Mexican government has remained silent about these attacks and continues to pursue the trash dump theory around the disappearance of the students, even though it has already been scientifically disproved by the GIEI. Further, despite repeated requests to do so, the GIEI still has not been able to be present during the Mexican authorities’ interviews with the Mexican soldiers in Iguala, many of whom were present during the attacks on the students.
“The level and intensity of the defamation attacks against such a group of internationally recognized experts is deeply concerning. In the same way that the Mexican government initially collaborated to have the Group of Experts offer their assistance on the Ayotzinapa case, it should also now be providing its utmost cooperation to allow them to continue their work,” stated Daniella Burgi-Palomino, Senior Associate for Mexico, Migration and Border Issues.
“We will continue to stand by the Group of Experts and urge the Mexican government to demonstrate its commitment to uncover the truth in this case and guarantee them with the necessary conditions to pursue all lines of investigation.”
The GIEI’s work during the next few months of their mandate will be crucial to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of the 43 and to begin to bring justice to the students’ families and the broader society.