(CNN Spanish) — Almost eight years after the tragic disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa, Mexico, in September 2014, the Commission for Truth and Access to Justice investigating this case revealed chilling conclusions.
The disappearance of the 43 students in Iguala, Guerrero, was a “state crime in which members of the Guerreros Unidos criminal group and agents from various state institutions participated,” the undersecretary for Human Rights, Population and Migration of the Government of Mexico, Alejandro Encinas.
Encinas’ statements came after a meeting between government representatives and parents of the students, who received the preliminary conclusions of a report on the investigations carried out by state authorities on the case.
These are the key findings of the report.
“It was a state crime”
It is the most chilling conclusion of the report presented by Encinas. After eight years of investigation and search for the disappeared, the Truth Commission established that the events were a State crime in which members of the Guerreros Unidos criminal group and “agents from various institutions of the Mexican State” joined.
According to Encinas, municipal, state and federal authorities “were aware of the mobilization of the students” from their departure from the Isidro Burgos Normal School in Iguala, Guerrero, until their disappearance. The authorities allowed the disappearance of the 43 people —and the murder of another six people— with their actions, omissions and even participating in the events, says the report.
A large number of assassins participated in the disappearance of the Ayotzinapa 43
Between the night of September 26 and the morning of September 27, 2014, the students who have disappeared today were preparing for a demonstration. According to authorities, they were attacked by criminal agents associated with drug traffickers.
According to the report of the truth commission during the government of Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), the students were kidnapped, incinerated and thrown into the San Juan River, presumably by criminal gangs. This version is questioned by the current government.
One of the conclusions of this report indicates that the disappearance was carried out by a “large number of assassins and hawks” directed by a central command “with the support of different police and state agents.”
All the missing are dead
The report confirmed the identity of the 43 missing students, confirming that “there is no indication” that any of them are alive.
“All the testimonies and evidence prove that these (the disappeared) were cunningly killed and disappeared,” says the report.
Dozens of key people for information have been killed or killed
The report indicates that, since the beginning of the investigations, at least 26 key people to obtain information about the disappearance of the students have died or have been assassinated.
- 14 members of Guerreros Unidos.
- 3 relatives of members of Guerreros Unidos.
- 2 members of the criminal group Gente Nueva.
- 7 witnesses or involved (officials, activists and police).
The “historical truth” of the Peña Nieto government “hidden” the truth of the facts
This report indicates that the creation of the “historical truth” – the version that says that the students were kidnapped by drug trafficking groups and burned in a garbage dump – hid the truth of the events that occurred on September 26 and 27, 2014, “altered the crime scenes, hid the links between the authorities and the criminal group and the participation of State agents”, among others, responsible for the disappearance of the 43.
The report also says that this historical truth “constructed a narrative that forced and manipulated the justice system in order to avoid a thorough investigation that would allow the truth of the facts to be known.”
Previously, Secretary Encinas said that “the so-called historical truth was built based on simulation, fabrication of evidence, torture, for the benefit of the perpetrators and against the rights of the victims.”
And Omar Gómez Trejo, special prosecutor for the Ayotzinapa case, previously said that the actions to support the “historical truth” were done illegally.
“That means that even testimonials from people were obtained by torture. What they did was reconstruct a preliminary investigation armed with procedural pieces that, in addition to the documentation that we have obtained, many were illicitly prepared,” Gomez Trejo said seven years after the disappearance of the students.
After learning of the Ayotzinapa report, the general coordinator of Social Communication of the Mexican Presidency, Jesús Ramírez Cuevas, said that “legal action will be taken against those responsible and there will be no impunity.”