A group of United Nations human rights experts today welcomed a new report on the enforced disappearances, executions and torture of students from Ayotzinapa in the Mexican state of Guerrero in September 2014, and stressed the need for the national Government to implement its recommendations.
“Prompt and diligent implementation of the recommendations will promote the proper investigation and punishment of those responsible, the clarification of the facts, as well as the search for the victims and redress for them,” the experts said in a news release about the report, which was produced by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
The experts said the recommendations contained in the report were also relevant in relation to all enforced disappearances, torture and executions in Mexico, and reiterated their offer of cooperation and technical assistance to the country.
According to the UN human rights office (OHCHR), the 43 students were last seen on 26 September 2014 as they arrived in Iguala (Guerrero) to stage a protest. When they got off their bus, the students were blocked by police who, by some accounts, were operating in collusion with a local criminal gang. The police then fired on the students, killing six people, including a 15-year-old child and three students, and injuring another 17 people, while the 43 students were then taken into custody.
In the news release, the experts acknowledged the support of the Mexican Government in the creation of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE) of the Inter-American Commission, as well as its readiness to extend the Group’s mandate to complete its work.
They highlighted the conviction of the IGIE that, contrary to the official version of events, “the 43 students were not cremated in the waste dump of Cocula.” Both the experts and the IGIE called for a reassessment of the investigation, including the particulars of the search for the students, as well as allegations of torture and mistreatment. It was also agreed that there was a need to “investigate all officials who have obstructed the investigation.”
The human rights experts include the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, and the Special Rapporteurs on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment as well as on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.