Denounce obstacles in Ayotzinapa case

Carlos Beristain, Claudia Paz y Paz,

Carlos Beristain, Angela Buitrago, Claudia Paz, Alejandro Valencia and Francisco Cox arriving at the press conference. Photo: Marco Peláez


By: Blanche Petrich and José Antonio Román

Mexico City

 The Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI, the group’s initials in Spanish) denounced a series of obstacles, diverting of information and illegal leaks to the press that “put at risk” the advances in the investigation into the Iguala case and into the whereabouts of the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students.

This international body, which is a help to the Mexican State in the investigation of the facts of September 26 and 27, 2014, indicated that the record of the emblematic case –“that is key to justice in Mexico,” in the words of one of its members Carlos Beristain, exposed some examples of the fragmentation of investigation AP001, which instead of being integrated in its totality into a single unit, continues disperse and, moreover, se has continued being dispersed.

It’s the case of the recent arrests of the so-called Cabo Gil [1] and the members of the Los Peques [2] criminal group. The SEIDO [3] opened new investigations, instead of deriving them into AP001, and denies access to the GIEI. In that record that the SEIDO manages, Gil reserved his right to not make a statement. Nevertheless, alleged leaks of those statements were published in some media wherein things he didn’t say are asserted. “It’s erroneous information, which does not correspond to reality,” indicated the criminalist Claudia Paz, a member of the group.

Another example is the protection of the bone remains recovered from 2014 at a site close to the Cocula garbage dump (not inside of it), because of an alert from the parents themselves.  Instead of integrating the investigation into the central record, it is being kept in the SEIDO’s possession and the necessary identification work has not been done.

Around these practices of fragmentation and leaks, the GIEI expressed their concern to Attorney General Arely Gómez.  The functionary (Arely Gómez), the GIEI’s expert Angela Buitrago asserted, “took attentive notice” of this complaint and promised to investigate “the origin of these practices.”

Almost two months from concluding their second mandate, the five specialists emphasized that this period, which concludes on April 30, is a “crucial moment” that can define the fate of the investigation.

The five members that make up the Group were present at the press conference. In it they also brought up the campaign of “personal slander and insults” on the part of an ultra-conservative sector of which they have been the object. Without directly engaging in a polemic with the protagonists of these attacks or wanting to accuse anyone of being their source, the GIEI did assert that what it’s about “with these acts and accusations is closing space for the search for truth” and generating confusion.

At the same time the group insisted on the necessity that the Mexican authorities deepen an investigation about the alleged traffic of heroine to Chicago in relation to the case of the disappearance of 43 students of the Ayotzinapa teachers college.

“It’s fundamental that the line of shipping heroine from Iguala to Chicago is investigated. It has been put forward, but we insist on the need to carry out the investigative work that we recommend for the clarification of the facts,” said the Colombian lawyer Claudia Paz.

The experts have pointed out as a fundamental element of the investigation the alleged existence of a bus with drugs that it is suspected would have as its destination the U.S. city of Chicago and that would have been taken by the students without knowing its cargo.

“The fifth bus is fundamental. We need to count on information from the investigation that the Chicago prosecutors carry out. On February 15, international assistance was requested” on the part of Mexico’s attorney general, added Paz.

The GIEI recognized that “advances” have been attained with the new investigative team that the prosecutor’s office created and in particular it turns out that the search has been reactivated for the 43 students that disappeared the night of September 26, 2014.

Translator’s Notes:

[1] Cabo Gil – Gildardo López Astudillo, alias El Cabo Gil, is a allegedly member of the Guerreros Unidos criminal group and one of those principally responsible for the attack on the Ayotzinapa students.

[2] Los Peques (The Sinners) – A criminal gang allegedly at the service of Guerreros Unidos and allegedly involved in the attack on the students.

[3] SEIDO – The organized crime division of Mexico’s Office of the Attorney General


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Sunday, February 21, 2016

En español:

Re-published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee


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