Press Release

IACHR Presents Report and 2019 Work Plan, Sets Up Team on Ayotzinapa Case

March 14, 2019

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Mexico City, Mexico – At the extraordinary session of the Presidential Commission for Truth and Justice in the Ayotzinapa case, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) presented its Report on the monitoring efforts conducted by its Special Follow-up Mechanism for the Ayotzinapa Case (MESA, by its Spanish acronym) during 2017 and 2018, and launched a new technical assistance stage with its 2019 Work Plan. The President of the IACHR, Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, presented the Report and the Plan.

The Presidential Commission session was held on March 11, 2019. It brought together all members of that commission: the Assistant Secretary for Human Rights, Migration and Population Welfare at the Interior Ministry, Alejandro Encinas; the Assistant Secretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the Foreign Ministry, Martha Delgado; and five relatives of the missing students, with the organizations that support them.

At this new stage, the IACHR will continue to monitor actions to search for the students, to investigate the case and to provide integral support for victims and their families. The IACHR will keep up its Special Follow-up Mechanism for the Ayotzinapa Case, which is to be reinforced with a structure for transparent, constructive dialogue focused on supporting Mexico’s Truth Commission in its efforts to find the missing students.

The Mechanism will also monitor progress in the criminal investigation, follow up on any actions proposed by the Presidential Commission and attend that commission’s meetings. It will also conduct documentation and verification visits to State-operated facilities in Mexico, including detention centers. It will support actions to strengthen institutions and human rights capacity-building in the country, including various lines and projects to address forced disappearances in Mexico.

In order to comply with the goals stated in its 2019 Work Plan, the IACHR’s MESA—which brings together the IACHR’s President, Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, and Commissioner Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva—is setting up a Technical Support Group to work directly with the Presidential Commission and other institutions of the Mexican State in charge of criminal investigations and victim support. The Technical Support Group will be made up of a group of consultants who specialize in Mexico, including former members of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts for Ayotzinapa. The IACHR thanks the State for the resources necessary to implement this new stage in the activities of the Special Follow-up Mechanism for the Ayotzinapa Case.

“We will keep standing by the mothers and fathers of the 43 missing students in this struggle for truth and justice,” said the IACHR’s President, Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena. “We recognize the State’s evident political will and the actions it has been conducting to find the students, which should deliver effective results in the short term,” she said. “The Commission has been committed to the families of the victims since it heard about the students’ disappearance. At this new stage, it will strengthen its follow-up mechanism in the hope that the State’s actions reveal the truth about what happened,” said Commissioner Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva.

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. 064/19