November 10, 2016
Today, November 10, 2016, the Latin America Working Group Education Fund and 11 international human rights organizations sent a letter to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto calling on his government to fully cooperate with the Follow-up Mechanism backed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) for the case of the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students. The letter urges him to ensure that the mechanism does not face the same obstacles that the Independent Group of Interdisciplinary Experts (GIEI) encountered during their mandate.
The letter comes one day ahead of the first visit of the Follow-up Mechanism’s IACHR-appointed advisors to Mexico City and Ayotzinapa, taking place from Nov. 9th-12th, 2016. The Follow-up Mechanism was established through a resolution by the IACHR, the Ayotzinapa students’ families, and civil society organizations petitioning the case and the Mexican government on July 29, 2016. It officially launched with an agreement and budget between the parties on September 9, 2016. According to the agreement, the Follow-up Mechanism’s year-long mandate is to gather further information and documentation on the case, as well as to follow up on the recommendations made by the GIEI in their two reports and the precautionary measures of the case.
“The degree to which the Mexican government cooperates with the IACHR-backed Follow-up Mechanism will demonstrate its commitment to finding the truth behind the disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students once and for all. Its record in terms of support and cooperation with the case so far is disappointing, and the lack of progress is abysmal for what the government has called its ‘most exhaustive’ investigation. More than two years after the disappearance of the students, the families, Mexicans, and international community deserve to know what happened and for those responsible for this crime to be held accountable,” states Daniella Burgi-Palomino, Senior Associate for Mexico, Migrant Rights and Border Issues.
The joint NGO letter also recognizes that the implementation of the Follow-up Mechanism comes in the context of changes in Mexico’s Attorney General post. It urges that the transition not interfere with advancing open lines of investigation in the case, including against high-level officials implicated in the obstruction of justice and the torture of suspects. Finally, the letter exhorts the Mexican government to share information on the results of these investigations with the students’ families and accompanying civil society organizations.
Contact: Daniella Burgi-Palomino at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.546.7010