Mexico: Two years on, inaction on Ayotzinapa exposes Peña Nieto’s true colours

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s cynical response to the enforced disappearance of 43 students in the state of Guerrero two years ago illustrates the Mexican government’s ongoing reckless approach to human rights, Amnesty International said.

“The Ayotzinapa tragedy has exposed how President Peña Nieto’s administration will stop at nothing to cover up human rights violations taking place under their watch in Mexico,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

The Ayotzinapa tragedy has exposed how President Peña Nieto’s administration will stop at nothing to cover up human rights violations taking place under their watch in Mexico
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International

“From failing to stop the attack against the students, to preventing international efforts to uncover the truth, to brushing off any complaints over the way this investigation has been handled, authorities in Mexico have done all they can to obstruct justice and protect their image.”

The 43 students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teacher Training College were forcibly forcibly disappeared on the night of 26 September 2014 after they were arrested by municipal police while preparing to participate in a demonstration in Mexico City to commemorate the 2 October 1968 massacre of students.

Since then, the remains of only one of the students, 19-year-old Alexander Mora Venancio, have been identified. The fate and whereabouts of the other 42 remain unknown.

The Mexican authorities have claimed the students were kidnapped by a local criminal gang, their remains burned and thrown in a local dumpster.

However, after a year-long forensic investigation, a group of experts appointed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights concluded that it was scientifically impossible for that number of bodies to have been burned in a dumpster in the conditions claimed by the authorities; a conclusion shared by other experts with access to the casefile.