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Drug trafficking behind massacre of Ayotzinapa students
Latinamerica Press
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The report of IACHR-appointed experts contradicts the official version of the assassination of the students.

The report of an international panel of experts designated by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to investigate the death of 43 students in Ayotzinapa occurred on Sept. 26, 2014, undermines the basic elements of the official version about this case.

The “Ayotzinapa Report. Investigation and initial conclusions of the disappearances and deaths of the students of Ayotzinapa,” released on Sept. 6, weeks before the first anniversary of the event, summarizes the results of the work done by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) between Mar. 2 and Sept. 2, in accordance with its mandate.

The GIEI, composed of five specialists, was created by the IACHR in Nov. 2014 at the request of the Mexican government “to provide international technical assistance from the perspective of human rights in the investigation of the forced disappearance of 43 students of the rural teachers school Raúl Isidro Burgos of Ayotzinapa, in the state of Guerrero.”

The experts found a series of inconsistencies in the official version with facts that contradict each other. According to the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), the students were taken by the members of the drug cartel Guerreros Unidos, to a garbage dump at the town of Cocula, where they were assassinated and incinerated.

However, Carlos Beristáin, one of the members of the GIEI, pointed out in a press conference, that “this event, as such, and how it has been written [by the PGR], never happened.”

“Given that the most credible version in the PGR’s investigation was that of the garbage dump of Cocula and given the contradictions existing between the confessions, GIEI ordered an expert analysis of the fire in the dump. The study was done by an international expert in fire and this type of research, and the conclusions are included in the report,” said the GIEI.

The expert’s report concluded that “there is no evidence to substantiate the hypothesis generated from testimonies that 43 bodies were cremated in the municipal dump of Colula.”

The PGR felt the impact and 10 days after the release of the GIEI report, the Mexican authorities revealed the identity of one of the 43 victims of the slaughter. Was Jhosvani Guerrero de la Cruz, whose incinerated remains were found in a bag in the river San Juan and sent to the genetics laboratory at the University of Innsbruck, in Austria. This is the second student who is identified through DNA; the first was Alexander Mora Venancio.

Almost simultaneously, the PGR announced the arrest of Gildardo López Astudillo, head of the group that murdered the students. In his declaration, López Astudillo, known as “El Gil,” admitted he ordered the killing and incineration so the victims could be not identified. He further stated that nine mayors of the area protect Guerreros Unidos in exchange for money, vehicles, weapons and police radio frequencies to do roadblocks.

Drug traffic
By reconstructing the events, the GIEI arrived at the conclusion that the “students arrived to the outskirts of Iguala with the intention of taking buses to the annual march on Oct. 2, in which the Massacre of Tlatelolco of 1968 was to be commemorated, but without intending to enter the city. After catching a bus on the road, they headed rapidly to Iguala to leave the passengers. They were trapped in the bus in that moment and called their fellow students, who came to the city to rescue them in two other buses. At that time, the students took three more buses.”

“From the above, five buses left the station by different routes with the objective of leaving Iguala and heading to Ayotzinapa,” the GIEI added. “The students arrived at the town square of Iguala when the DIF [the System of Integral Development of the Family] event had long finished, they did not boycott any activity and they did not carry arms. On the other hand, the authorities knew since 17:59, through the C-4 [security system] that the students were heading to the outskirts of Iguala and their actions were monitored on-site. That is to say, the students were not confused with any group of organized delinquents.”

The investigation of the GIEI has established that shared information existed about what was happening in the attack on the students by different government entities through the C-4 and other mechanisms and institutions.

Guerrero is the opium main producer in the Americas. Iguala, for its strategic location, is a coveted spot and its control included the domain of the police and political apparatus by the drug cartels. Guerreros Unidos placed two of its accomplices in the mayor’s office, the mayor José Luis Abarca and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda, identified as masterminds of the killing. Both were detained in Mexico City on Nov. 4, 2014.

The GIEI recommended “to continue unifying the investigation that has already initiated, and consider other human rights violations and crimes that were not collected,” and “investigate the motive of  the transfer of narcotics as a priority line in  the aggression against the students.”

Attorney Aracely González Gómez, head of the PGR, said in a press conference that “federal institutions are responsive and are acting decisively on these unfortunate events; investigations will continue to the last consequences.”
—Latinamerica Press.

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