Crime & Justice

Activists, relatives protest 2014 Ayotzinapa disappearance of 43 students

Mexico City, Dec 26 (EFE).- Hundreds of activists and relatives of the 43 Mexican students from Ayotzinapa who were kidnapped and never found gathered on Sunday at the Mexico City’s Basilica de Guadalupe, where they prayed for an end to the impunity enjoyed by the kidnapper/killers 87 months after the deed.

The demonstrators marched along the “Guadalupe corridor” in the Mexican capital displaying signs reading “They took them alive, we want them (back) alive” and “Justice, truth and punishment” to denounce the fact that the official investigation into the incident has not been brought to a successful conclusion despite promises to do so by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Upon arriving at the Basilica, in northern Mexico City, Father Raul Vera celebrated a Mass during which he blamed the authorities for the disappearance of the 43 students in 2014 in the southern state of Guerrero.

“The main people responsible for the disappearance of your children are the government of Guerrero, the municipal government of the municipalities where the crime occurred and the federal government because they were also involved via the Mexican army,” Vera, who is well-known for fighting for human rights, said.

The demonstrators on Sunday commemorated the 87th month of global action to find answers and closure in the case of the 43 students, who were kidnapped on Sept. 26, 2014, during the Enrique Peña Nieto administration.

The Peña Nieto government promoted what it called the “historical truth,” namely a version of events in which it said that the students were detained by corrupt police officers in Iguala and turned over to the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel, which killed them and burned their bodies in a trash dump in Cocula.

But the Lopez Obrador administration had said that this version is a lie, agreeing with relatives and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and its Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts, which said that the bodies could not have been burned at that site.

However, despite the promise of the current president, the demonstrators on Sunday expressed their frustration over the actions of the Mexican Attorney General’s Office and the army, saying that they were holding back information on the case regarding the alleged participation of army personnel.

“We’re praying for the authorities to end up finding these young students. We’re asking God for the federal government and the state government of Guerrero to do what they have to (to ensure that) and to stop going around and around on the matter,” Vera said.

The protesters reiterated their contention that the disappearance and presumed massacre of the students was “a state crime” perpetrated in collusion with drug cartels.

“The authorities were motivated to support organized crime, which grew the poppies (to produce heroin). That is well established,” said Vera.

EFE ppc/rrt/bp

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