The Mexican armed forces deliberately hide information about the disappearance of 43 students in 2014, denounced this Friday a group of international experts that supports the clarification of the case and said they have documents that support it.
“We have seen documents, had access to documents, of an internal decision not to provide further informationto give an answer that there is no information,” said Carlos Beristain, a member of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts, GIEI, in charge of the so-called Ayotzinapa case, at a press conference.
“This is not acceptable to us,” added the group’s specialist, who had already denounced last September the Army’s refusal to provide information on the crime, which occurred in the southern state of Guerrero, and which involves officers and soldiers.
The normalistas disappeared between the night of September 26 and the early morning of September 27, 2014, when they tried to seize buses to travel to Mexico City and participate in demonstrations.
Beristain explained that a document from the General Staff of the Mexican Defense Secretariat, which was accessed by the investigators, reveals that the instruction is to “give an agreed response between different sectors of the institution.”
“We are asking for (…) an answer of what is the truth about things, not what is an agreed answer about what is going to be said,” he said.
He added that they have witnesses that intelligence documents were transferred to other places in order to hide them, a situation that they have reported to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
The president “has directly requested [que] informed in this regard”, pointed out, for her part, the Colombian lawyer Ángela Buitrago.
The GIEI was created by an agreement between Mexico and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
Buitrago announced that the armed forces have already responded to the request of López Obrador, who will receive the commissioners next week to evaluate said position.
He also reported that the GIEI has “redirected” elements so that the Mexican prosecutor’s office can “reactivate” arrest warrants against twenty soldiers involved in the crime, which were canceled last September.
The lawyer warned, however, that of the original arrest warrant, launched in August against 83 suspects -including officials and judges-, several are still pending, particularly those of public servants in office.
Mexican authorities announced last week the arrest of nine Guerrero police officers suspected of involvement in the disappearance, while the United States deported a former police officer in January.
Tomás Zerón, a former police chief also wanted for the disappearance, is hiding in Israel, so the person with the highest profile apprehended so far is former prosecutor Jesús Murillo Karam, responsible for the original narrative that excluded the responsibility of the military.
The young men were detained by policemen in collusion with drug traffickers from the Guerreros Unidos cartel, who murdered them by mistaking them for members of a rival gang, according to the official version at the time.
But a commission of the current government that investigated the case maintains that the criminals -in complicity with the police and the military- sought to recover drugs hidden in a bus taken by the students, without them knowing of its existence.
So far, only the remains of three victims have been identified.
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