Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

International Experts Issue Final Report on Ayotzinapa 43 Missing Students Case

By Cody Copeland; Courthouse News

Families of the victims of the Ayotzinapa massacre of September 2014 march in Mexico City on Aug. 26, 2022. (Cody Copeland/Courthouse News)

An international group of independent investigators looking into the 2014 disappearance of 43 teachers’ college students in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero presented its final report Tuesday, but not because they uncovered the truth.

Citing intentional obstruction by actors in Mexico’s government and military institutions, the group announced it would no longer be able to conduct its work and that its members would return to their home countries.

“The concealment of information … has become a responsibility of the state in the disappearance of the young men,” said Spanish investigator Carlos Martín Beristain.

The Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) was appointed in November 2014 by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to investigate the disappearances of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teachers’ college in the nearby town of Iguala, Guerrero, the night of Sept. 26, 2014.

The GIEI held its first meeting in early 2015 and issued two reports before concluding its investigations in 2016. It reconvened in May 2020 at the request of the families of the missing students.

But the group has found it “impossible” to get at the truth, Beristain said, thanks to a government determined to “deny things that are obvious.”

Its sixth and final report again attributed the disappearances to soldiers in Mexico’s army, which “not only allowed the attacks to take place, but later covered them up and did not provide truthful information about what happened,” Berinstain said.

“Mexico’s Secretary of Defense continues to lie about the lack of information on what happened and about documents it had concerning the possible location of the students,” he said.

Current students of the Ayotzinapa rural teachers' college chant as they march during their monthly protest on Aug. 26, 2022. (Cody Copeland/Courthouse News)

Originally composed of five members, Beristain presented the final report alongside the only other remaining investigator, Angela Buitrago from Colombia. Alejandro Valencia, also from Colombia, Francisco Cox from Chile, and Claudia Paz y Paz from Guatemala had already stepped away from the group.

Getting to the bottom of the Ayotzinapa case was one of several promises President Andrés Manuel López Obrador made on the campaign trail, but — as with his pledge to free Mexico’s political prisoners — that promise remains unkept.

López Obrador vowed Tuesday to continue seeking the truth of what happened that fateful night in September 2014.

“I am committed to uncovering the whole truth, so that the whole truth about the disappearance of the young men is known,” he said during his morning press conference. “And it is a commitment that I am going to fulfill, I am fulfilling it. Progress is being made.”

Mexico has made several arrests related to the case in recent weeks, but López Obrador has implied that they were likely people acting rebelliously. He continues to defend the integrity of Mexico’s armed forces under his administration.

In August 2022, Human Rights Undersecretary Alejandro Encinas presented the partially redacted findings of a Truth Commission created by López Obrador, which determined that the “historical truth” presented by the administration of former President Enrique Peña Nieto was a fabrication concocted at the highest levels of the federal government.

A leaked version of the report the following month appeared to uncover the gruesome details of the commission’s findings, but its veracity came into question after Encinas later told The New York Times that “a very important percentage” of the report had been invalidated.

That newspaper also reported having heard a recording in which Encinas offered former security official Tomás Zerón, who is in Israel evading charges of torture and forced disappearance, among others, that he would have the “president’s support” in exchange for information on the case.

“The president doesn’t care about putting anyone in jail,” Encinas reportedly said.

The faces of the victims of the Ayotzinapa mass kidnapping stare out of posters at the sit-in on Mexico City's Paseo de la Reforma Avenue, where activists have demanded justice in the case for years. (Cody Copeland/Courthouse News)

Former Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam, who is accused of helping fabricate the “historical truth,” was arrested last August and indicted on charges of torture, forced disappearance and crimes against the administration of justice.

He was put into mandatory pretrial detention and remains in jail, despite a federal judge granting a suspension of his trial last September. His lawyers have tried several times to get a judge to allow Murillo Karam to await trial outside of prison, alleging his failing health, but beyond a few trips to the hospital, their efforts have failed.

A federal judge indicted Murillo Karam on new charges of torture and forced disappearance in April. 

Parents of the disappeared students took the GIEI’s announcement hard. One told The Washington Post that she was “devastated” and questioned her chances of discovering the truth without the work of the international investigators.

Martín Ocampo, a supporter of the victims’ families who for years has helped maintain a sit-in installed outside the former attorney general’s office in December 2014, told Courthouse News that the withdrawal of the GIEI is further proof that the state is responsible for the disappearances of the 43 students.

“We knew the government was hiding information,” Ocampo said. “Now it’s coming to light.”

He, the victims’ families and a country racked by extreme violence can now only turn to the very government the GIEI accuses of covering up the truth to help them find it.

“We have no other choice but to trust in the government,” Ocampo said. “But we’ve got presidential campaigns coming up, and that is going to get in the way. We’ve lost what we hoped to gain during this presidential term.”

SourcesCourthouse News


  1. Basically, what the report found was that corruption permeates through different levels of government which hindered investigators from uncovering the truth. ELMO has been in office for years now and still can't get to the bottom of this. He lacks balls.

  2. Look. This is a very sad situation. And in my opinion murder is reprehensible. But these students weren’t angels by any means…

    They were notorious for destroying private and public property, hijacking buses, causing public disturbances, blocking roads off people who were going out their daily lives, and also hurting civilians who happened to be at the wrong place and at the wrong time. They met against a group of people on that night that were not going to put up with their shit. Or they messed with the interests of people who weren’t going to be patient with them. But the students went out looking for trouble…

    I have family in Guerrero and a lot of people have said they were tired of the normalistas. Not sure what that means or what they were suggesting, but there’s something there…I also don’t think the Army was directly helping Guerreros Unidos. They simply allowed the corrupt police / gang members take the students. The Army didn’t give a shit about the students because they were tired of them and knew how problematic they were. I remember seeing a video recreation of the events and the Army officers who arrived at the scene left when they saw the police take the students. They didn’t want to deal with it. But I don’t think the Army knew they would be murdered. There’s no proof of that.

    I think this case will go unsolved in our lifetime. I hope that’s not the case…

    1. 11:33 You're not painting the whole picture, you left out the Mayor a lady and husband, had a lot of influence of getting rid of the students, also keep in mind the students were unarmed.

    2. It just remains to be seen a real motive. I mean this is drawing international media interests. The very nature of criminality is under the cloak of darkness , or not doing something so brazen as kidnapping and killing a bunch of students. That’s not the cartels style. This is and was a political scandle of some sort. The used the cartels as a diversion to the real culprits. Whoever that may be. But cartels , real drug cartels , don’t do high profile crap like that. Sorry , but ain’t no money in it.

    3. You are going to play the ''no angel'' card? That is the first thing you have to say about innocent students from the local normal schools who were slaughtered by the state over a period of hours? They were murdered by the army, and though you say there is no proof you are absolutely wrong. The timeline has been put together very carefully. The army did NOT leave, and that has been proven beyond any real doubt. The cover up was so extensive, the bodies that were ''burned'' turned up no evidence of any of the students remains but one, security footage that was being run by the army disappeared, and so much other evidence I could go on all night, but you say they were really annoying?

    4. @6.44. the evidence against the Abarcas , the mayor and his wife, only make sense if all the other lies make sense, but they don't. They are the classic scapegoats. Either they will be quietly released under a new administration, or released on a technicality when the case is no longer an international issue.

    5. The mayor was aqqictted this year of students kidnapping, but found guilty of kidnapping 6 civil servants & got like 80-90 years in prison iirc.

  3. I question "courthouse news" journalistic credibility. A lot of holes and contradictions in this article.

    1. Can you point out one contradiction?

    2. 1003. They claim AMLO doesn't care to get to the bottom of this, yet the article states that several arrest have been made. Article claims AMLO doesn't care to put anyone in jail, yet former attorney General was indicated last August. 🙄 I don't see how AMLO would benefit from covering up crimes that occurred during the previous administration, especially when AMLO is constantly taking jabs at Peña Nietos failed Presidency. How credible is "courthouse news" I'd put my faith more in a small mexican news paper than a foreign no name news paper.

      "Getting to the bottom of the Ayotzinapa case was one of several promises President Andrés Manuel López Obrador made on the campaign trail, but — as with his pledge to free Mexico’s political prisoners — that promise remains unkept"

      "Mexico has made several arrests related to the case in recent weeks..."

      “The president doesn’t care about putting anyone in jail,” Encinas reportedly said.

      " Former Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam, who is accused of helping fabricate the “historical truth,” was arrested last August and indicted on charges of torture, forced disappearance and crimes against the administration of justice. "

    3. 12:03 PM

      That's not a contradiction, regarding Jesus Murillo Karam, because Courthouse News did not claim that. They only reported what *Encinas claimed* and then reported that he was actually arrested.

      “The president doesn’t care about putting anyone in jail,” was made by Encinas.

      If you're going to quote something please provide the exact source indicating who actually said it because you made it seem it was Courthouse News.

      If you overlooked that I'm sure you also did the same with the rest of what you wrote.

    4. 522 Funny that you skipped the first example. Regardless of what you wrote back, it's still a shitty article from an unreliable source. This isn't news, it's an opinion piece, and just as I have an opinion, so does everyone else, so where does that put "Courthouse News?" In the same boat, with everyone else.

    5. 10:29
      I skipped some examples as I thought one was sufficient to get the point across.

  4. More proof of ELMO's incompetence.

    1. You blame AMLO as if it happened under his administration. All of this along with the covering up occurred under Enrique Peña Nieto.. the article states there have been several recent arrest and charges brought before high ranking officials.... did you even read the article?

    2. ALMO and his administration suks.
      He promised when elected, he would curve homicides, curb violence.
      Mexico is going in a down whirl spiral.

    3. 1252, stay on topic mijo.

  5. God it's 2024 not 2014 get over it.

    1. Dozens of innocent young unarmed citizens are murdered by the state without justice being done, an entire community is devastated while the Government and all its institutions at every level not only lie but stage entire scenes for the media, torture other innocents to force them to accept responsibility when it is literally impossible that they were even there, lie
      under oath and cover their tracks, and you invoke God? If this was your older brother (only a kid could think that a decade is such a long time) you'd feel differently. These comments are incredible.

  6. It's so easy to lie in Mexico

  7. They will continue to arrest people in this case until the end of time!!

  8. It was the military more specifically a batallón of the Marina that was working for the Guerreros Unidos

    1. It was the military, but I think it was the other way around. If Guerreros Unidos were involved they were working for Captain Jose Crespo, who was ultimately answerable to Cienfuegos. I don't believe that GU had more power than all 3 levels of government that were involved. Them and the Abarcas were scapegoats when the whole thing threatened to blow open. They genuinely thought it could bring down the Government.

  9. They f’d around and found out. Not saying it’s right but they should have known

    1. @ 6.38 They didn't fuck around and find out you callous pos. They protested against a massacre in a way that was traditional, and tolerated. All these comments with BUT in them make me want to scream- ''That teenager didn't deserve to be tortured and have his face flayed BUT,...''
      ''The young football team that were mistaken for normalistas in the other bus that were murdered, they didn't deserve it BUT they really didn't have a good passing game..''.
      ''The unarmed kids who were slaughtered over a period of hours then hunted down one by one in the dark by men with assault rifles didn't deserve it, BUT..''
      BUT WHAT?

  10. ''A Massacre In Mexico'' by Anabel Hernandez is a devastating breakdown of the states culpability, and a fascinating insight into the dirty war against the traditions of the Normal schools and the threat Pena Nieto thought they posed to his power. His security analysts ranked them higher than the Cartels as a threat to national security. People don't seem to understand what they symbolised to many Mexicans, and why they were so feared by a military that has traditionally disappeared anybody it sees as a threat.


Comments are moderated, refer to policy for more information.
Envía fotos, vídeos, notas, enlaces o información
Todo 100% Anónimo;