López Obrador promises Truth Commission in disappearance of Ayotzinapa students
1 October 2018
Last week marked the fourth anniversary of the forced disappearance of 43 teaching students (normalistas) from the Raúl Isidro Burgo Rural Normal School in the town of Ayotzinapa in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero. Following a demonstration against cuts in education funding in the city of Iguala, local police herded the students into buses and likely turned them over to a local gang, the Guerreros Unidos. They have never been heard from since, and the remains have been recovered of only one of the students.
The incident itself, as well as its investigation by the Attorney General of Mexico (PGR) under what is now the outgoing government of President Enrique Peña Nieto and his Party of the Institutional Revolution (PRI), were emblematic of the lawlessness of the Mexican state, its corruption and its ties to organized crime. At a more fundamental level, the case evinced the disdain of Mexico’s ruling oligarchy and government for the most basic rights of the Mexican population, who were outraged by this monstrous crime.
The PGR’s investigation concluded that the Guerreros Unidos gang killed the students and then incinerated their remains in a dump by a river in the neighboring town of Cocula. This is known in Mexico as the “historical explanation.”
Its deficiencies and inconsistencies were exposed by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) and the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, among others. They proved that the students’ remains could not have been incinerated at the Cocula dump site as the PGR had concluded.
The PGR arrested 170 people, including members of Guerreros…