Opinion Ayotzinapa hope is reborn

Mexico the 15th January 2019.

Fifty-two months after the forced disappearance of 43 young normalists  from the Raul Isidro Burgos School in Ayotzinapa, the Presidential Commission for Access to the Truth and Justice in the Ayotzinapa Affair has finally been presented.

After the disappearance of the 43 students, the federal government first of all refused to open an enquiry, declaring that it was an affair pertinent to local government. So the occasion to begin investigation during the first days after the crime were lost. Secondly, the federal government slowly started it’s investigation, then came to its conclusion; without scientific proof, causing even further suffering to parents and students. Thirdly, there seemed to be an awakening of a new enquiry and to be able to draw a conclusion with the arrival of GIEI, but the government, thoroughly annoyed, practically chased the group of experts out. The fourth moment was characterised by the taking over again of the case, only to come to a halt at a dead end.

With the arrival of our new government, the parents of the 43 students again took up their case on the 26 September, the first meeting took place in the presence of President Andre Manuel Lopez Obrador. During the meeting he proposed the creation of The Commision for Access to the Truth, for which he published a decree and created the necessary moves to allow international involvement.

The 3 December, after he took over office as President, he published the decree by witch

he ordered the creation of the Commission for Access to the Truth to the Court of Justice in the case of Ayotzinapa.

The 15 January of this year, the afore said Commission was publicly presented at the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

This new stage is extremely important for the parents of the 43 students. As they have expressed themselves here, the hope of “Finding our children” has been re-born and they perceive a new interest by this new government. “It’s the first time we’ve had access to the office of the Ministry without manifesting”. It’s the first time that they have been treated as victims and not as political dissidents.

The emotional words, sincere and compelling from Mr. Emiliano Navarrete Victoriano, father of Jose Angel Navarrete Gonzalez one of the missing students, rang out in the same room during the meeting; “the 3rd September 2014 was the last time I saw my Son, he came to my home and we chatted;  Jose Angel my Son, I love you so much and wherever you are I shall come and get you”. “ I never thought nor imagined why I said those words to him. I went off to work, I’m a builder and then a few days after – the 26 September 2014 – a cowardly and inhumane aggression was taken out upon our young Normalists of Ayotzinapa, perpetrated by our local security forces of the town of Iguala in the State of Guerrero, where the municipal police were present. As well as the the Army and the Secret Service who were present and watching over what was going on, the students were under fire, it was the Federal Police, and sirs; they did absolutely nothing” declared Mr. Emiliano Navarrete.

The same way, Mrs. Cristina Bautista Salvador declared “ What we want is that out children come back to us to live their dreams. Their only crime was to be students in Ayotzinapa. That is why we are still here. It’s even harder when one of their birthdays come up and that we can’t even give them a kiss. It’s our fifth december together as a group”.

The words of the parents of the 43 contain the pain and suffering of these last years, aggravated by the bad treatment  and the lies of the precedent government, who were determined to hide the truth and create obstacles during the investigation. Each word and teardrop of the parents touched every person present at the meeting. Despite their pain, there was an atmosphere of new hope that the truth will be found out and that there will be justice. The exchange finished with the engagement of the government to find any trace of the 43 students. This engagement was condensed into words by the Under Secretary of Human Rights, Population and Migration Mr. Alejandro Encinas Rodriguez “the truth is that there is no truth” in the Ayotzinapa affair.

Minister of the Interior Mrs. Olga Sanchez Cordero also confirmed her conviction to find out the truth and declared “I ask for the greater effort from the members of the Commission to get results and find the truth, we have some proof, but we also need to sort through false elements, push out the irregularities that came out in the precedent investigation”.

The presence of Mr. Marcelo Ebrard Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Arturo Herrera Under Secretary for the Finance Ministry was important to show that high Officials of the State are active within  the Commission and that they are engaged in finding the 43 missing students.

The Commission will be made up of the Under Secretary for Human Rights, Population and Migration, the Under Secretary for Human Rights and Multilateral Affairs of the Foreign Office, the Minister of Finance and Public Credit, five parents and four members of different organisations for Human Rights who have been following the parents throughout. They can ask to have access to any information concerning the case, visit any place presumed pertinent or having any proof about the case, to interrogate any person who may have any precious information about their whereabouts.

This Commission has been put together by Transitional Justice of Mexico, by whom victims of serious violations of Human Rights may attain Truth, Justice and reparation of prejudices sustained and to obtain measures of non-repetition.

Against the Humanitarian crisis that the country finds itself in and the historical violations of Human Rights, it will strive to create the mechanics of a nature allowing the victims to obtain justice. With the Commission hope is renewed for Mexico, injured by all the dead and missing.