Press Release

Special Mechanism on Ayotzinapa Case Makes Second Official Visit to Mexico

September 11, 2018

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Washington, D.C. – The Special Follow-Up Mechanism (MESA) on the precautionary measure granted on behalf of the Raúl Isidro Burgos rural school in Ayotzinapa and on the recommendations of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) held its second official visit to Mexico in 2018, which took place between September 3 and 5. The aim of the visit was to monitor compliance with the precautionary measure and the GIEI’s recommendations regarding progress on the investigation and the search for the missing students. The delegation was led by the first vice-president of the IACHR, Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, the second vice-president, Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva, members of the follow-up mechanism, the executive secretary of the IACHR, Paulo Abrão, and experts from the executive secretariat.

The IACHR visited the Raúl Isidro Burgos School to present and deliver the “IACHR Performance Report on the Special Follow-Up Mechanism” to the families of the 43 students who went missing or were injured or killed on September 26, 2014, and the students and representatives of civil society organizations that are assisting and supporting them. This report was first presented on June 6, 2018, in Washington, DC.

At the event, the IACHR outlined some of the main findings of the follow-up to the MESA investigation. Commissioner Arosemena stressed the importance of constructing a new narrative based on the evidence that is continually coming to light and underlined the IACHR’s commitment to exploring all possible lines of investigation. The IACHR would like to thank Jan Jarab, the UN Human Rights Office’s representative in Mexico, and Luis Raúl González Pérez, president of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), and their teams for attending the event. In conversation with Commissioner Arosemena and Commissioner Vargas, the victims’ families once again expressed their trust in the IACHR’s work and its support for their search for their missing children and quest for justice. 

During the visit, the MESA met with high-ranking authorities from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB), and the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR). The IACHR delegation also met with the government-elect’s transition team.

The PGR informed the delegation of the progress that had been made on the investigation since MESA’s last visit. It mentioned the arrest of Juan Miguel N, alias “el Pajarraco,” which may help to shed light on the involvement of the Guerreros Unidos criminal organization in the acts of violence against the students.

The Mexican state also reported on efforts to investigate the possible involvement of the Federal Police Force and to obtain information from US authorities who are prosecuting alleged members of Guerreros Unidos in Chicago. The state also reported on the investigations into the Control, Command, and Computation Center (C-4) at Iguala, members of the armed forces, and state police officers. The IACHR requested further information on these and municipal authorities and the telephone investigations that have been carried out.

The state assured that it would address the unresolved matters that the IACHR has identified, which would make it possible to evaluate progress on the investigation, the search for victims, and assistance to survivors. The PGR also stated that it would continue to work and hold follow-up meetings with representatives of victims’ families.

The IACHR values the use of LIDAR technology in the search for the missing students. It will continue to monitor joint search activities in the hope of finding clear clues as to the whereabouts of the students, who have been missing for four years.

The IACHR has been monitoring the ruling of the First Collegiate Court of the Nineteenth Circuit of Tamaulipas. It has been informed that approximately 200 appeals were filed against this ruling and that the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico will issue a sentence on the scope of this. The IACHR will be paying close attention to the decision.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 202/18