- Let us seek the truth together, he said.
- He issued precise instructions to his collaborators, for the definitive clarification of the events in Iguala, Guerrero.
President Enrique Peña Nieto met today at approximately 13:30 hours with the parents and relatives of the 43 student teachers of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, victims of the deplorable events of September 2014.
The president told the parents and relatives: “We are on the same side and working towards the same goal: to find out what happened to your children and punish each and every one of those responsible. Let us seek the truth together.”
The meeting, held in the auditorium of the Technology Museum of the Federal Electricity Commission, was attended by President of the National Human Rights Commission Luis Raúl González Pérez.
Also in attendance were members of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (IGIE) of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, invited by the government, and the lawyers for the victims’ relatives.
In a press statement after the meeting, Coordinator of Social Communication of the President’s Office and Government Spokesperson Eduardo Sánchez Hernández said that during this second meeting with the parents and relatives of the student teachers, President Peña Nieto expressed his, “Solidarity with the pain of the Ayotzinapa community, reiterated his commitment to listen to them and talk, and reaffirmed the government’s will and good faith to clarify the events of September 2014, in Iguala, Guerrero.”
“He told them that the government institutions will be at their side, and that the Secretary of the Interior and the Attorney General’s office have been instructed to listen to them and support them at all times,” he added.
He said that the president told them, “That he shared their pain and understood their indignation; that this had surely been the most difficult year of their lives, and that no mother, father, child or sibling should suffer what they have suffered.”
He said that the government has continuously attended this issue: “To date, over 50 meetings have been held between relatives, representatives and members of the student community of the Isidro Burgos Rural Teaching College with officials from various branches of the government.”
PRESIDENT EPN ISSUED PRECISE INSTRUCTIONS TO HIS COLLABORATORS
Eduardo Sanchez announced that during the meeting, President Peña Nieto issued precise instructions to his collaborators:
- Investigate all the findings and possible suspects yielded by the investigation, reiterating that the investigation has not been closed and will continue as long as is required.
- Incorporate the recommendations and lines of research proposed by the IGIE.
- The investigations must continue in order to determine what had happened, individually, to each of the missing persons.
- The Human Rights Under-Secretariat, in coordination with the Executive Committee for Victims, must ensure that all those affected have access to the mechanisms of assistance to victims, and that medical care should be guaranteed to all those injured in the events of 2014.
- Following the recommendation of the IGIE, the PGR will form a team of experts at the highest level to discuss the events that took place in the Cocula dump. Dr. José Torero may of course participate in this team of experts if he so wishes.
- The president ordered the creation, within the PGR, of a Specialized Prosecutor’s Office for the Search for Missing Persons Office.
The government spokesman remarked said that during the meeting, two members of the IGEI took the floor and gave the President a full volume of the report requested from the Inter-American Commission on Human Right by the Mexican State.
President Peña Nieto thanked them for their work, and recalled that the PGR will analyze and incorporate their recommendations into the investigation, he said.
He reported that the IGIE has been invited by the government to remain in the country for the next six months, and thus conclude the technical assistance tasks entrusted to them.
He stressed that in the meeting, the parents of the student teachers gave President Peña Nieto a document with an eight-point request. The president instructed the Secretariats of the Interior and Foreign Affairs and the Attorney General’s Office to analyze the feasibility of each of these eight points.
THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES; THIS CASE HAS NEVER BEEN CLOSED AND WILL NOT BE SHELVED
Eduardo Sánchez said that the President Peña Nieto made it clear that, “The investigation continues; This case has never been closed, and will not be shelved.”
He also said that the meeting took place in a climate that allowed dialogue about the course of investigations, and the care of victims, among the main topics.
As for the investigation, he said, the Attorney General’s Office, “Delivered a progress report: it declared, among other things, that 111 people involved in these incidents have been arrested to date. Of these, 52 were municipal police from Iguala, 19 belonged to the municipal police of Cocula, Guerrero, and 40 were linked to a criminal organization operating in the state of Guerrero.”
He explained that the detainees include, “The former mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca Velázquez and his wife, María de los Ángeles Pineda Villa, who have been identified as the masterminds of this abominable crime.”
At the meeting, it was also recalled that September 16 saw the arrest of Gildardo López Astudillo, the leader of the criminal group operating in that area of Guerrero, who has been identified as the person who ordered the students’ killing.
The Coordinator of Social Communication of the President’s Office said that during the meeting, it was announced that, “674 expert opinions have been compiled, 135 DNA samples collected and a total of 577 ministerial statements recorded.”
Eduardo Sánchez also said that there have been 667 detailed inspections with police units at the level of coordinates, many provided by the interested parties themselves; 6,770 search patrols, 255 over flights to search for the whereabouts of the missing, and 94 drone over flights, for the same purpose.
“Federal agencies are working to bring to justice all those responsible for this event which has so damaged Mexico,” he declared.
He added that regarding the care of victims, “The Executive Committee on the matter has worked closely with the families of missing persons, providing them with legal, psychological and medical assistance, which included the installation of a medical unit in the Isidro Burgos Rural Teaching College.”
Eduardo Sánchez pointed out that during meeting, which ended at 16:18 hours, “The president listened to the various comments by the parents and those who spoke, freely expressing what each of them deemed appropriate.”
At the meeting, the President was accompanied by Interior Minister Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong; Attorney General Arely Gómez González; Legal Adviser to the President, Humberto Castillejos Cervantes; Head of the President’s Office, Francisco Guzmán Ortiz; President of the Executive Committee for Victims, Sergio Jaime Rincón Rochín; Secretaries of the Interior and Human Rights of SEGOB, Luis Enrique Miranda Nava and Roberto Campa, respectively; National Security Commissioner Renato Sales Heredia; Assistant Attorney Generals Specializing in the Investigation of Organized Crime and Human Rights of the PGR, Gustavo Salas and Eber Betanzos Omar Torres; General Commissioner of the Federal Police, Enrique Galindo Ceballos; and Commissioner of the Gendarmerie Division of the Federal Police, Manelich Castilla.