Author: Emma Buckhout
One day of a parent not knowing what has happened to their son is awful; one year is unimaginable.
One year ago on the night of September 26, 2014, students from the Ayotzinapa rural teachers’ college were attacked by local police in the Mexican town of Iguala. Six people were killed, more were wounded and 43 students were forcibly disappeared. A year later, one, possibly two, of the students’ remains have been identified. The students’ parents and loved ones have been left in agony to fight for justice and truth.
On this solemn anniversary, let’s stand in solidarity with these families fighting for justice. Click here to send Secretary Kerry a message to support their ongoing search for truth. The case of the disappeared students is at a critical juncture. In agreement with the Mexican government, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission appointed the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts to assist for six months in the ongoing investigation of the attacks and disappearances of the Ayotzinapa students. The Group’s report released at the beginning of September raises numerous discrepancies in the government’s official narrative of the events and proposes lines of further investigation.
While the Mexican government has approved the extension of the Group’s work for another six months and pledged to take its recommendations into consideration, it has yet to demonstrate proof of that promise. Earlier this week, the students’ families emerged from their second-ever meeting with President Peña Nieto frustrated once again with the lack of sensitivity or commitment on the government’s part. They made eight specific requests to the president, including calling for a new specific investigative unit for their case, more public commitment to the Group of Expert’s extended work, and attention to the victims.
Shockingly, this case is only one of 25,000 registered cases of missing or disappeared persons in Mexico since 2007. The Group of Experts’ mandate also includes making broader recommendations about the situation of disappearances in Mexico. The hope is that clarity in this case could open the door for improved investigations into the thousands of other disappeared people in Mexico—and human rights improvements to end the violence. Urge Secretary Kerry: stand with the families of the Ayotzinapa 43, stand with families across Mexico.
No one deserves an anniversary like today.