Crime & Justice

Parents of missing Ayotzinapa students to continue their search

Mexico City, Aug 26 (EFE).- The parents of the 43 students who went seven years and 11 months ago from the southern Mexican state of Guerrero said Friday that they will continue to search for their children until there is “objective, scientific and undoubted” evidence that they are dead.

A report presented last week by the Commission for Truth and Access to Justice in the Ayotzinapa case has taken the missing students for dead.

“We will continue with the demand for a live presentation of the 43. We cannot continue in the struggle until we have full proof of their whereabouts,” read a pronouncement by the families after a march they take out on the 26th of every month in the Mexican capital.

“It would be painful for our families to know what happened to them, but if they give us objective, scientific and indubitable proof, we will go home crying and mourn,” it added.

The parents also said that the report opens routes of investigation, search and exercise of penal action “that the competent authorities must follow through with.”

The parents, along with students from the teachers training school of Ayotzinapa, walked from the emblematic Angel of Independence to the Hemicycle to Juarez, where they read their statement despite a bad weather with incessant rainfall.

“What keeps us together is the hope for seeing our children alive, we love our children, we miss them, that’s why we are here in a struggle. We continue to demand the live presentation of our children, because they were taken alive, we want them alive,” Cristina Bautista, mother of Benjamin Asensio Bautista, one of the missing students, told EFE.

The statement they read is the first public reaction by the students’ parents after the commission issued a report Thursday last week claiming that the 43 students who disappeared in September 2014 were dead.

In addition, it also concluded that what happened that night was a “state crime.”

The report resulted in the arrest of Jesus Murillo Karam, then-Attorney General of the Republic, for the crimes of enforced disappearance, torture and against the administration of justice.

Murillo Karam was prosecuted on Wednesday for these crimes and put under pre-trial detention.

This, the parents remarked, represented a step forward on the path of access to justice, since he was one of the architects of the so-called “historic truth” – a version of the government of Enrique Pena Nieto (2012-2018) that claimed that corrupt policemen arrested the students and handed them over to the Guerreros Unidos cartel, which murdered and incinerated them in a dump in the southern state of Guerrero.

“If other lines of investigation had been explored a few days after the disappearance, the success of knowing their whereabouts may have been more objective, however, the criminal and human action of this gentleman and other officials prevented that,” said the parents.

On Friday morning, the Mexican government denied that the report presented a week ago by the Commission was politically driven.

“One of the statements that have been made frequently of the report is that this is a political position of the Government, and we want to emphasize that this report is the result of a process of investigation,” said Human Rights Undersecretary Alejandro Encinas. EFE


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