MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s new head of state, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, signed on Monday at the National Palace his first presidential decree establishing a truth commission tasked with getting to the bottom of the 2014 abduction and presumed murders of 43 students from Ayotzinapa teacher’s college.
The panel must be established within “no more than 30 working days” and will be made up of relatives of the youths, representatives of various government departments and specialists who are part of an autonomous team, said the undersecretary of human rights, Alejandro Encinas.
In this way, the new government will attempt to go beyond the official version presented by the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto, which has been discredited by international experts.
On the night of Sept. 26, 2014, students from the Ayotzinapa Normal School, a rural all-male teacher training college known for its leftist activism, were attacked in Iguala, Guerrero, after they commandeered buses (a traditional practice) to travel to Mexico City for a protest.
Six people – including three students – were killed, 25 were injured and 43 students were abducted.
The Peña Nieto government said the students were killed by a local drug gang after being abducted by municipal cops acting on the orders of Iguala’s corrupt mayor and that their bodies were incinerated at a waste dump in the nearby town of Cocula.
Almost every element of the official account has been shredded.
Mexican and international experts concluded that the bodies could not have been disposed of in the way described by the government, while leaked reports from the AG’s office established the involvement of federal police and military personnel in the Iguala violence.
Encinas, who will head the new investigation, said that the reports created by different entities that have investigated the case will be reexamined, including those from the international Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts and Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission.
Lopez Obrador said that the truth commission will encounter “no obstacle” in carrying out its work and that the government will await the result of the probe.
“We are going to respect the autonomy of the other branches, but this is a matter of state, which is very important to all Mexicans,” he said.