Borderland Beat by DD
Related story byChivis “31 Students kidnapped in Cocula Guerrero in July”
|Temporary Governor Rogelio Ortega|
Denial and Retraction. The federal government has a predictable response to potential scandals. First ignore it. Then if it doesn’t go away, deny the facts. Then as more reports surface, retract the denial and excuse it because it had no information or knowledge of the events. PRI has followed this established pattern in the case of 31 missing students in Cocula.
When a French television company aired a expose of what happened in June or July 2013 in Cocula the Minister of the Interior, Osario Chong responded to reporters questioning that he nor the federal government knew anything about it until the French TV program aired the report.
He said that he had ordered the PGR to contact the French reporters to determine their sources and investigate whether the charges of kidnapping were true or not. He further stated that he had called the principal of the junior high school and asked him about any “missing students”.
The Director of the high school "Justo Sierra" located in Cocula, Ricardo Lagunas Alejo, said that in the four years he has served in that position within the educational institution has no knowledge that any student has disappeared.
In an interview with the newspaper 24 Hours, the delegate of the Ministry of Public Education (SEP) in Guerrero, Arturo Contreras Gomez, said the family did not report the disappearance of their children for fear and said the federal delegation never had a report about an absence mass of students, and in this case would have been considered dropouts.
So it seems that the government would have us believe that their lack of information was due to asking the wrong question. There were no missing “students” since when the children were kidnapped they had just finished their last day of the school year and were not longer enrolled in any school and therefore not “missing students” but were “missing children”.
Given the current turmoil in Mexico over the “Missing 43” students kidnapped in Iguala, the government certainly didn’t want any more headlines about “missing students”. “Missing children” happens every day in Mexico stories about children missing might be less inflammatory right now and receive less attention than stories of “missing students”.
It is also hard to believe that the federal government had no previous knowledge of this atrocity when it had been reported in Borderland Beat by Chivis as early as August 2013 that 31-32 bodies were found in a mass grave near Iguala (only 20 minutes from Cocula) and that ;
Cocula is as violent as Iguala, with large groups of people taken and never seen again. In 2013 between the months of May-July at least three groups were taken; 12 in May, 10 in June and 23 in July.
There were probably other publications that reported on missing groups from Cocula in 2013, but we know from sources that Borderland Beat is read by high officials in the government.
Osario could could have saved a lot of time and expense of the taxpayers money if he had telephoned the Governor of Guerrero or the Mayor of Colcula rather than looking to France for answers. As reported today in 24 Hours;
The governor of Guerrero Rogelio Ortega, said yesterday that the abduction of 31 young denounced by the FRANCE 24 television happened a year and four months ago in 2013; his statements coincided with Cocula Mayor Cesar Miguel Penaloza, who said there were two kidnappings, one of 17 people and another 14.
Ortega Martinez acknowledged that he was not aware of this incident and that his administration has no further information on the subject; however, said on Wednesday the state administration anyway and sent a team of investigators to Cocula to find out what happened.
"The news we investigated and it seems that happened a little over a year. What spoke to me, friends and personalities of Cocula, is that a year and four months ago early one morning, at night, they took about 17 boys Cocula. There were no reports, this was an event that was silent about the situation of fear, "he told Radio Formula.
Interviewed by this newspaper, the delegate of the Ministry of Public Education (SEP) in Guerrero, Arturo Contreras Gomez, said the family did not report the disappearance of their children for fear.
24 HOURS also asked a resident of Cocula (who asked that her name not be published); this person agreed that the claim of the French television corresponds to what happened in 2013, precisely in July.
According to the same source, last year a group of young people were missing in the municipality of Cocula, although not all students at the secondary Justo Sierra. This person said that once knew what it was that had been missing 50 boys, 17 and 31. (This number 48 corresponds to the number Chivis reported as being 45)
What was said in the village was that some boys were released but others do not already know or will say anything. The uprisings were not reported.
"As far as I knew, had been boys, but some had already appeared. The truth was very difficult, many difficult situations. First came as a rumor and then knew for ransom, about brothers yes it could give, they were back then, "he said.
"They took these kids, about a technical school and a girl. They were like 50 and it was a rachita who took them all. Here were several cases. Everyone is afraid, nobody knows the fear that one lives here. The truth itself is a little difficult. From home to work and from work to home. I stand at the entrance of the community and not even go to the center, we avoid as much as possible, "he told 24 HOURS