WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
10 Nov 2016 | Press Release

NGOs: Follow-up mechanism for Ayotzinapa case must have the Mexican government’s full cooperation

Organizations demand that changes in the Attorney General’s Office don’t delay or hinder the case investigation

Washington, DC – Today, WOLA and eleven international and regional human rights organizations released a public letter addressed to Mexican President Peña Nieto regarding the special mechanism developed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) that is providing follow-up on the case of the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa. The signing organizations urged the Mexican government to cooperate fully with the follow-up mechanism so that “its work does not face obstacles similar to those that the [Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts] GIEI experienced during its mandate.”

In July 2016 the Mexican government and the IACHR established the terms of this special mechanism, which include following-up on the GIEI’s recommendations on the case. The mechanism’s team arrived in Mexico yesterday, November 9 for its first official visit and will stay through November 12. Although the mechanism will not participate directly in the case’s investigation, it will have access to relevant information in order to monitor progress being made in the investigation.

“The special mechanism is another opportunity for the Mexican government to prove its commitment to justice and truth in this case” affirmed Maureen Meyer, Senior Associate for Mexico at WOLA. “So long as Mexico fails to resolve the Ayotzinapa case through a professional and trustworthy investigation, the world’s attention will stay focused on the Mexican government’s political will and capacity to find the students and sanction those responsible.”

Additionally, the organizations that authored the letter requested that the recent change in leadership in the federal Attorney General’s Office, now headed by Dr. Raúl Cervantes Andrade, does not delay or hinder the follow-up mechanism’s work or the Attorney General’s Office’s investigation of the Ayotzinapa case. The organizations urged the new Attorney General “to provide due attention to this case and to continue exploring the lines of investigation that former Attorney General Arely Gómez opened and that the GIEI recommended.” The organizations also encouraged the new Attorney General “to meet with and fully collaborate with the special follow-up mechanism.” Among other pending responsibilities for the new Attorney General is resolving the internal investigations into the obstruction of justice in the Ayotzinapa case and sanctioning any authorities responsible.

In addition to WOLA, the following organizations signed the letter: Amnesty International; Center for Law, Justice, and Society (Dejusticia); Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS); Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL); Conectas Direitos Humanos; Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF), Latin America Working Group (LAWGEF); Open Society Justice Initiative; Peace Brigades International (PBI); and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.

Click here for the full letter.