Advertisement

Mexico defends decision not to release report on 43 missing students

By Andrew V. Pestano
Mexico defends decision not to release report on 43 missing students
In September 2014, 43 students from Ayotzinapa traveled to the town of Iguala in Mexico's Guerrero state and clashed with police, who opened fire. The students went missing. File Photo by Gerardo C.Lerner/Shutterstock

MEXICO CITY, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Mexico's Attorney General's Office defended its decision not to release a report on the investigation into 43 missing students from Iguala.

In response to a New York Times report that the Mexican government refused to release the findings of an internal review, the Attorney General's Office, or PGR, defended its practices -- saying the Inspector General is an "organ" of the PGR that has "full autonomy" but that must adhere to Mexican laws and procedures, such as the verification of reports.

Advertisement

"According to the Mexican legal framework, in order for a determination or resolution to become valid within an administrative or criminal proceeding, and thus capable of producing legal effects, it requires that it be issued with all the formalities established by the law, including the signature of the person who pronounced it," the PGR said in a statement. "Any document that may exist and that has been disseminated through unofficial means, in which references are made to the assessments made on files related to the disappearance of students ... until it is properly formalized, it is a simple projection."

The New York Times on Thursday reported that the Mexican government refused to release an internal review that said investigators broke the law in the search of the missing students, citing a copy of the report it obtained from an internal review conducted by the Inspector General.

Advertisement
RELATED Mexican vigilante group, local gang swap husband, mother hostages

The PGR said the unfinished report's findings are subject to change "as is likely to occur with all kinds of projections in the field of legal procedures."

"In the case at hand, the documents referred to by the NYT are characterized as being without proper formalization, lacking the legal requirements that apply to them, are legally nonexistent; therefore, are prevented from being considered with quality of a formal resolution," the PGR added.

The Times said the report found crucial suspects were arrested and moved illegally, and that the kidnapping investigators' conduct violated "the right to truth" and damaged the victims' right to justice. In one legal violation, a top investigator took a suspect to identify the supposed crime scene without a defense lawyer present.

RELATED Mexico seizes more than $12M from ex-governor accused of corruption

The findings of the internal review were completed in August and the families of the missing students expected to receive the report. But César Alejandro Chávez Flores, the inspector general, told the families his superiors needed to approve the report first, the Times reported.

Chávez Flores, who prepared the internal review, resigned abruptly four weeks after meeting the families. The Times said the report suggests the findings of the internal review are in bureaucratic limbo.

In September 2014, 43 students from Ayotzinapa traveled to the town of Iguala in Mexico's Guerrero state and clashed with police, who opened fire, investigations revealed. Police then handed the students over to drug gangs. Soldiers were at the scene of the clash and relatives of the missing students believe the soldiers played a role in the disappearances by failing to act.

Advertisement
RELATED Bank of Mexico Gov. Agustín Carstens resigning to lead BIS

Further investigation into the incident revealed that the police was infiltrated by drug gangs. The three suspects in the case, Patricio Reyes, Jhonatan Osorio and Agustin Garcia, confessed to killing the students and burning the bodies, alleging they were told the students were rival drug gang members.

Only one burnt body of the 43 missing student has been identified.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement