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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Sunday, January 25, 2015

No Forced Disappearance Charges in Mexico's Ayotzinapa Case

Relatives hold up posters of the 43 missing students of the Ayotzinapa Teacher Training College during a protest outside the federal court in Chilpancingo | Photo: Reuters

Borderland Beat posted by DD Republished  from material in  Telesur , laJornada

A Mexican judge has said that there are no evidence to charge the detainees with the forced disappearance of the 43 missing students.

 Vidulfo Rosales, a human rights lawyer representing the families of the 43 Mexican students who went missing after being attacked by police in southern Mexico in September, said Saturday that Mexico’s Attorney General (PGR) will not be placing charges of forced disappearance on the suspects in the case of the missing students.

Detainees, which number some 90 so far, will still face charges of kidnapping and murder, after a judge considered that there is no evidence to place charges of forced disappearance.

 DD. note;  A "forced disappearance" differs from a "kidnapping" in that it involves state action (involvement of a state official). Kidnapping is generally considered as a person taken and held for ransom.  If an agent of the state is involved in a forced disappearance or torture the State as a whole, not just the agent is responsible under international law.  It is a crime against humanity, or human rights and the state could be held in violation of several international laws and treaties and subject to sanctions by the UN.  IMO that is why PGR and the Judge are going out of their way to avoid charging and convicting the detainees for the crime of "forced disappearance".

Rosales also expressed concern that the PGR’s investigation has “weaknesses and inconsistencies,” adding that in the absence of compelling evidence that the students are dead, their parents will continue searching for them.

According to the version of events provided by the Mexican government, the students were killed and their remains burned at a landfill, then placed inside plastic bags and thrown into a river. However, only the remains of one of the students, Alexander Mora, have been identified so far. 

More than 90 people, most of them local police in south-western Guerrero State, have been detained so far in connection with the case, including the former mayor of Iguala – the city where the students disappeared – who along with his wife who are accused of ordering the attack on the students by local police and the local Guerreros Unidos gang.

Earlier this month, authorities reported the arrest of Felipe Rodriguez – known as "El Cepillo" or "The Brush" – who allegedly ordered Guerreros Unidos gang members to burn the bodies and clothing of the students to hide evidence.

As the four month anniversary of the disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students approaches, families of the disappeared youth have called on a massive demonstration in Mexico City on Jan. 26 to demand their return.


In addition to the demonstration planned for Jan. 26, representatives of the missing students will go to Geneva this next week to present a 22 page report to the UN Committee Against Forced Disappearances.  They will participate in the UN Committee meeting on Feb 1-2 that will be examining the issue of "forced disappearances" in the Mexican state.

In an interview, Felipe de la Cruz, spokesperson for the students' parents, said:
"We are going to Geneva to seek justice. We are going to search everywhere in the world that this crime of the State not go unpunished. We will knock on all necessary doors, because we know that the Mexican authorities protect each other and here [in Mexico] there are many interests."
The 22-page document contains a damning report of what happened September 26-27, 2014, in Iguala, Guerrero. It demonstrates the inability of the Guerrero state government and the delayed reaction of the federal government and the Attorney General's Office (PGR), which began working on the case eight days after the incident. The document states:

    "Later still, 11 days after the disappearance of the 43 young people, President Enrique Peña Nieto spoke for the first time on the case."

The document recalls that the Executive received the students' parents 34 days after the events.

 Most importantly, they say, four months after the fact,

    "the Mexican government has been unable to file charges and initiate legal proceedings for the forced disappearance of the students."

The report points out the lack of action by the PGR for investigating the connection between organized crime and political authorities, it hasn't even begun:

    "It is naive to think that the collusion between organized crime and the public sector stops with the mayor of Iguala and his family. The narco-municipal governments can only exist with the acquiescence and complicity that go beyond the municipality. Therefore, it is essential to require that Guerrero's former governor (Ángel Aguirre) and other state officials in the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches be investigated. The same [investigation] should be required of the Army."

Contrary to the refusal by the Secretary of Government Relations, Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, to investigate the Army in the Ayotzinapa case, the report presents the urgent necessity of opening and developing this line of investigation:

    "As the only federal authority territorially in place in Iguala, without a doubt, the Armed Forces relied on intelligence about links between authorities of the Mexican State and drug-trafficking groups. Today it is verified that the Armed Forces knew of previous events, such that they were aware of the breakdown of the municipality [government structure] and that they gave warning of the systematic use of 'disappearance' in this locality."

 The report exposes the crisis that exists in Mexico regarding this crime:

    "The Ayotzinapa case has come to demonstrate the consequences of years of impunity, inaction and indifference in the face of forced disappearance in Mexico. From different perspectives, the event has been designated as a watershed in recent history and as a turning point regarding the crisis of disappearances that the country is going through."

Moreover, according to the report, the Ayotzinapa case demonstrates the lack of "governmental will and conviction" to address, prevent and punish the crime under international law:

    "The Ayotzinapa case conclusively confirms that the legal framework is insufficient and that the authorities completely ignore the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Forced Disappearance. After the forced disappearance of the 43 students, no one faces criminal prosecution for that crime; further, no Mexican authority has used or invoked the Convention in legal decisions related to the prosecution and judgment of this crime."

Considered to be the "most serious case of forced disappearance in the nation's history," they say, the event was not properly dealt with in the first, crucial hours:

    "In the case, despite the fact that beginning the night of September 26 there was evidence of forced disappearance of 43 young students, [yet] the initial investigations were not [focused] on the disappearances, but on the homicides; in fact, in the absence of a diligent investigation into the disappearances, the families filed complaints such that the respective files might be opened. The Ayotzinapa case also shows that searches for their safe return were not begun immediately."

The report states that in order to investigate the students' whereabouts, the participation of Specialized Unit for the Search of Disappeared Persons, the Executive Committee for Victims' Care (CEAV) and the General Department of Strategies for Dealing with Human Rights in the Secretariat of Government Relations [SEGOB],

    "did not make, nor have they [subsequently] made, any significant intervention in the case; quite to the contrary, their official communications [regarding] the situation of forced disappearance have been fuzzy."

The report shows the "simulation" of the Mexican government in creating institutions that do not really deal with cases of serious human rights violations, and it severely criticizes actions of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH):

    "The Ayotzinapa case also shows that nothing has been served by the reforms that empowered the Commission to conduct special investigations."

In conclusion, the report shows, among other things, the

    "inadequacy of the legal framework; lack of clarity about issues of authority and jurisdiction in respect to forced disappearance; absence of mechanisms for immediate search for live persons; limitations of the PGR's Search Unit; absence of systematic CNDH involvement; failures of the National Registry of Missing or Disappeared Persons and the failure of transitional justice."

DD note;   As defined by the UN, transitional justice is an approach to systematic or massive violations of human rights that both provides (1) redress to victims and (2) creates or enhances opportunities for the transformation of the political systems, conflicts, and other conditions that may have been at the root of the abuses. ... To achieve these two ends, transitional justice measures often combine elements of criminal, restorative, and social justice.

If the government of Enrique Peña Nieto seeks legally and politically to blur the crime of forced disappearance in the Ayotzinapa case, as they maintain, this report aims to prevent it:

    "The disappearance of 43 young students means a deep wound for Mexican society, which heralds worst atrocities (in the future)  if it does not succeed in serving as a genuine game changer with respect to the government and social indifference in the face of forced disappearance. In this sense, it is essential that the committee make a strong statement in order to condemn the forced disappearance of 43 students and to demand justice, truth and reparations in this landmark case."


  1. In December, the PGR tried to indict for forced disappearance a group of people being held under arraigo. They had not yet been formally charged with any crime, but the First District Court for federal criminal prosecution seated in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, denied the arrest warrants on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence to prove the charge.

    The judge's arguments for making the decision are that the initial charges were made for kidnapping but that the characteristics of the detention of the normal school students were not those of forced disappearance. Additionally, the judge considered that "there was evidence" that would permit establishing that the young people were no longer alive and, therefore, had not been disappeared.

    Thus, as the Mexican government considers the students to be dead, they are no longer "disappeared".

    This ruling was made by a Fed. District judge in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, about a 1000 kilometers from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. No explanation was given for the venue.

  2. I never thought that one day i would say Fuck you Mexico, i never been ashamed of you like i am now

  3. Time to appeal to the UN and the International Community and bring the heat on the Mexican government. Somewhere between 10 & 20 million Mexicans living in the USA should be able to bring a little pressure of the failed Mexican government if they wanted to. Otherwise quit your whining and just live quietly in the shit hole called Mexico. Oh and stop the complaining cause everyone else is tired of hearing. Shit or get off the pot.

  4. If my kid was one of the missing I would follow the corrupt judge home and he would DISAPPEAR !

  5. Has anybody ever seen somebody tell a lie, and most everybody knew it was a lie, then that person just kept having to lie more and until his kids became so obvious that they make you laugh at how in genuine they are? Well I think the PRI and the Mexican government is in that position now!!! They are digging themselves such a big hole, that if they were on Celebrity apprentice, they'd be in the board room about to be fired by Donald Trump. "Pena Nieto, YOUR FIRED!!!!!!"

    1. EPN is there to stay. Until he does what he has to do. After that other things must come.. Hopefully better!!!!!! if not then mx is done!! enough is enough!

    2. Remember Salinas? Why did they serve out their full terms? Look how much they robbed Mexico!!!!! Why even allow such a corrupt president to steal Mexico blindly? He people at some point have to protest and say enough is enough!!!!

  6. If I may ask, what is forced disappearance? I know what kidnapping is. Also please spare me any rude comments. I am just trying to better understand since I am not from Mexico. In the US in order to charge with kidnapping you need actual proof the one person you are charging is guilty (not just the word of another person), other than the victim hsi or her self. Also forced disappearance sounds like another way of simply saying murder. In the US without the body being found it is very hard to get a conviction for murder or kidnapping because the burden of proof now is in the hands of the District Attorney. They have to prove the person did not just simply run away. I know there are 43 missing and it is quite obvious what happened. Is there a law requiring proof there before a Judge can say it was forcible disappearance? Also is it like the US where each individual would be one count meaning 43 counts of forcible disappearance, each carrying a minimum sentence? Also I understand one was found. Will there be charges brought on the criminals for the one at least? Just trying to better understand if this judge is truly following a law (we the readers) have no clue about. It seems this decision will lighten the charges on the Mayor as well. What would be left to charge him with other than interacting with organized crime. If someone has law knowledge there, please answer. Thanks!

    1. Im not a lawyer b.ut Im wondering if EPN has hung himself by getting rid of the bodies therefore theres no proof of murder but forced disappearance yes.Kidnapping Im guessing no because there was no ransom asked for although they could pr obably torture that out of somebody.

    2. Perhaps I was to abrupt in the story in saying "forced disappearances" involved kidnapping involving "state action.

      We are really dealing with 2 definitions. The first is the definition adopted by UN;
      "The Inter-American Convention for Forced Disappearance of Persons defines "forced disappearance" as "the act of depriving a person or persons of his or their freedom, in whatever way, perpetrated by agents of the state, or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support, or acquiescence of the state, followed by an absence of information or a refusal to acknowledge that deprivation of freedom or to give information on the whereabouts of that person, thereby impeding his or her recourse to the applicable legal remedies and procedural guarantees." Article II, Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons.

      The second definition is the law passed in Mexico that is supposed to be used to implement the above international definition;
      "The definition of forced disappearance in Mexican law attributes the crime to a public servant who keeps the victim hidden "under whatever form of detention". Unlike the international definitions—under which the crime continues as long as information about the victim is withheld—the Mexican definition appears to limit the crime to the time during which the victim is actually detained. Consequently, under Mexican law, the prosecution would probably have to establish that the "disappeared" person continues to be held in detention.... Mexico: Justice in Jeopardy, Human Rights Watch, July 2003.

      The Mexican judges have interpreted this to mean that since the students are presumed dead and there is no evidence that they are still being detained there is no crime of "forced disappearance". Hence no violation of international law or treaties.

    3. It really doesn't matter because the PRI led Mexican government makes up their own rules and laws as it goes! They just let two real well known criminals serve their sentences from home because of old age, and sickness, yet Dr Mireles with his diabetes is still in Prison on trumped up charges!

    4. Thank you DD for the explanation. Sorry if this is putting you to a extensive research. With the explanation of "forced disappearance" which involves the UN which becomes an international affair, how can Mexico itself, investigate and make the determination? For example, in a war if there is concerns of inhumane treatment, the UN sends in investigators to make the determination. It seems from the process taking place in Mexico, they are controlling everything. It seems the UN isn't really doing anything to investigate. Though the judge made this determination, this is for Mexico's findings. The UN could still conduct their own investigation right? For the international aspect of human rights. It would seem this would be the case with all the international news of political corruption there. Next we will hear Mexico verses the UN and sanctions being applied if they are uncooperative. If something like that took place, changes would really take place in Mexico. No exports or imports, tough for any country.

    5. So they had to murder them then and pass the buck unto someone else to be charged?

  7. The mexican mierdocracia invents a new interpretation of the law and of detective work, the evidence of a crime may be evidence that if the crime was done some other way then the crime is no crime.
    El senor presidente needs to be put out of his misery and be hunged from the nearest tree

    1. In other words, Mexico is a lawless country unless someone in power decides that someone is going to jail, and in that case the laws are interpreted to put that person in jail as needed. Money get anyone free or imprisoned. It is clearly a failed country and government.

  8. Meanwhile... ..el Coyote medio Destemplado aka la reputa tuta pitufa pedorra in some mountain eating tacos de chorizo de burro, and milking a couple of cows to make cheese for his ratones compadres, a las ratas les gusta el quesillo

  9. The ayotzinapa case involves persecution, kidnapping, disappearances, by the government, propaganda, brainwashing and whatever other crimes emerge, the worst is if the mexican army and police had racist evil Intent in their heart, which they did not have, they were just obeying orders from the commander in chief, pena nieto.

  10. Arresting somebody under false pretenses, accusations without proof, railroading the accused, is all against the law, Dr Mireles is in prison, against his will, nobody is asking for a ransom; 400 autodefensas are also in prison under the same circumstances...
    --why were the ayotzinapos so much problem that they had to be disappeared after being involuntarily kidnapped by the military, paramilitary and militarized police under the direct command of the supreme commander of the mexican armed forces enrique pena nieto???
    COMMON CORE may hold the key, google it...


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