Mexican Government Sticks by Official Ayotzinapa Account, Despite Contradictory Findings

Read more

Almost a year ago, 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teachers college were kidnapped from Iguala and reported dead in Mexico, setting off massive protests and becoming symbolic of a nation gripped by criminal and state violence. Since then, the families and loves ones of the victims have pressured the government for answers. Prosecutors have said that the attack was orchestrated by the then-mayor of Iguala José Luis Abarca Velázquez and his wife, who didn’t want the students meddling with a speech she was going to make. It’s also been said that the students were killed because a gang thought they were rivals. Meanwhile, the attorney general’s official account was that the victims were incinerated in Cocula. For the families and the people of Mexico, these answers were not good enough. Gangs suspects’ testimony helped the government reach their conclusion.

Over the weekend, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR) found that the official account given by the Mexican government was not truthful, according to teleSUR. IAHCR said that though they didn’t have answers for what actually happened, they knew that evidence didn’t support the story that the students were incinerated. “No evidence exists to support the theory based on the statements that the 43 bodies were cremated,” said Jose Torero, an expert on fire. Experts explained that the amount of fire needed to cremate the bodies could not have happened at the dump in Cocula. Based on their finding, there was no “general damage that would have been visible in the vegetation and trash.”

Despite the evidence presented, the Mexican government continues to stick by their story. “We are sure that what happened was that there was a big fire,” Tomas Zeron said, according to AFP. “A large group of students was burned there, without being able to confirm that it was all 43, but it was a large group of students.” To this day, only the remains of one student have been identified. On Monday, President Enrique Peña Nieto said that a new investigation would help them find what really happened. He is set to meet with the families of the missing. He has only met with them once.