Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Today's Mexico CIty Headlines: That's what we've been trying to tell you all this time

None of the papers lead with the latest report from outside investigators sent by the human rights commission of the Organization of American States to probe the disappearance of 43 teachers college students from the town of Iguala, Guerrero last September. Only Excelsior puts it on the front page, below the fold, with the misleading headline “Search for teachers college students renewed.”
    The lack of interest might be traced to how familiar it all is. The Attorney General’s Office is sticking with its narrative (that the local drug gang massacred the students), the victims’ parents and other activists are accusing the government of a cover-up, and most of the rest of the country (seven out of 10, according to one poll) doesn’t think the case will ever be solved in any satisfying way.
    So a human rights group comes in, pokes around, and criticizes the official handling of the case. What else is new? This particular team has been doing it for several months.
    Still, there’s an interesting thread running through several of the specific criticisms the group (from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an agency of the OAS) publicized during a press conference yesterday. See if you can spot it.

   •    The Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) is failing to investigative a number of crimes that seem to have been committed, including torture, attempted murder, obstruction of justice, abuse of authority, and improper use of force.

    •    The investigators are only considering the crime of kidnapping, and not forced disappearance. The latter implies official involvement, at least at the local level, if not beyond.

    •    The federal government is not paying enough attention to the surviving victims, including the families of the murdered and disappeared.

    •    The health care provided to the seriously injured, such as one shooting victim who remains in a coma, is insufficient.

    •    The investigation gives low priority to finding the disappeared, dead or alive.

    •    Access to military personnel, including for the purpose of interviews, has been blocked by the federal government.

     Got it? All six of those concerns are almost precisely what the families, NGOs, protesters and much of the press have been on about for half a year.

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