A panel of experts released on Sunday its second and last report [text in Spanish, PDF] on its inquiry into the 43 undergraduate students from a teachers college in Ayotzinapa who went missing in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico in 2014, stating that the Mexican government has hampered the investigation. Consisting of Latin American lawyers and human rights activists, the panel of experts appointed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights [official website] found the following: some of the suspects had been tortured by government security forces; the integrity of evidence had been compromised in the case; new evidence showed a greater role by federal security forces in the 2014 events; a lack of investigation into high-level officials; a lack of investigation into phone records from that night; and “sclerotic bureaucracy” [NYT report] throughout the justice system. The experts brought together the events leading up to the disappearances of the students through witness testimony and ballistic tests; they concluded [NYT report] that “the join action [of the attackers and officials] shows a coordinated modus operandi […]”. The experts have denounced the Mexican government for failing to fully cooperate with the investigation and taking steps to discredit [Guardian report] the group. The experts had been invited by the Mexican government to examine the case and the former’s mandate is due to expire next week. It will not be extended, according to Mexican authorities.
The disappearance of the 43 students has drawn widespread condemnation of the criminal justice system in Mexico. In January, three men were [JURIST report] arrested for their possible connection to the disappearance as part of the government’s story. In November Mexico’s own National Human Rights Commission criticized [JURIST report] the Mexican Attorney General’s Office and other government offices involved in the investigation for failing to comply with its recommendations. In October Human Rights Watch reported [JURIST report] that there was evidence of unlawful police killing in the country. Also in October, Mexican Attorney General Arely Gómez González released [JURIST report] a 54,000 page file detailing the Mexican government’s investigation.