Amnesty condemns blocking probe into missing Mexican students

An investigation was approved in June, but has now been blocked, in a move called 'politically motivated' by Amnesty.

    People paste posters on a wall with images of some of the 43 missing Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos students during a march to mark the 43rd month since their disappearance in the state of Guerrero, in Mexico City, Mexico April 26, 2018 [Henry Romero/Reuters]
    People paste posters on a wall with images of some of the 43 missing Ayotzinapa College Raul Isidro Burgos students during a march to mark the 43rd month since their disappearance in the state of Guerrero, in Mexico City, Mexico April 26, 2018 [Henry Romero/Reuters]

    Amnesty International has called the decision by a Mexican court to not go ahead with an investigation into the disappearance of 43 students "a political decision".

    In June, a federal court decided an investigative commission for truth and justice could go ahead, but that decision was struck down, preventing an official inquiry into the disappearance.

    "The government has filed more than a hundred different legal motions before the courts in an attempt to prevent compliance with this legal ruling. This is proof of a political decision to hide the truth about the fate of the 43 students," Amnesty Americas director Erika Guevara-Rosas said in a statement.

    "The Mexican government has gone out of its way to impede the creation of a special investigative commission to investigate the Ayotzinapa case, as ordered by a federal court, which ruled that this was the only way to salvage an investigation plagued with irregularities and evidence tampering," she added.

    The 43 students from Iguala disappeared on 26 September 2014. 

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    According to investigators, police in Iguala attacked the students after they "commandeered" buses to transport them to a rally in Mexico City the next day - an annual tradition which had in the past been tolerated by authorities.

    Six people, three of them students, were killed in the attack.

    The Mexican government says that the case has been solved, but its assessment has been challenged by the students' families, human rights organisations and independent investigators.

    Corrupt members of the local police, said Karam, had handed the students over to a drug cartel, who killed them, burned their bodies at a dump in Cocula, and dumped their remains in a river.

    In October 2016, more than two years after the incident, Felipe Flores, the former police chief of Iguala was arrested in connection to the case.

    An independent probe implicated Flores in the disappearance, and Attorney General Arely Gomez said the former police chief's testimony will be key to discovering the students' fate.

    The disappearance of the students sparked nationwide outrage over what many call a culture of impunity and corruption, and has led to calls for the resignation of President Enrique Pena Nieto.

    In total, more than 80 suspects, including 44 police officers, have been arrested in relation to the forced disappearances. There have been no convictions in the case.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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