- Victims’ Families and Organizations: Decision of Single Tribunal Threatens Truth and Justice
Mexico City, July 18, 2018. – Today, the Third Unitary Tribunal of the Nineteenth Circuit, under Magistrate Sabino Pérez García and headquartered in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, published an accord, which found that “the motion for legal impossibility filed by the Attorney General’s Office is justified.” The Attorney General’s Office had filed the motion in response to the ruling by the First Collegiate Tribunal of the same judicial circuit, which had ordered the creation of an Investigative Commission for Truth and Justice (Ayotzinapa Case) as an extraordinary mechanism to investigate the whereabouts of the students who were forcibly disappeared on September 26, 2014.
This decision is the result of an unprecedented action by Enrique Peña Nieto’s government, which filed more than 100 appeals and legal briefs presented by the President, the Ministry of Justice, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Revenue and Public Credit, the Secretary of Health, the Secretary of National Defense, the Navy, the Attorney General’s Office, the Executive Commission for Victims’ Services, the Federal Police, and even the House of Representatives. That is, the full force of the Mexican State was unleashed–not to look for the disappeared victims–, but to fight an innovative ruling by a court that fully assumed its rule as a democratic counterweight.
Regrettably, the Third Unitary Tribunal of the Nineteenth Circuit succumbed to this unusual pressure by the Federal Government and, although the victims have not been notified of the decision, the accord indicates that the court deems it impossible to comply with the ruling of the First Collegiate Tribunal.
We emphasize that the decision of Magistrate Sabino Pérez García is not the last word, as the Supreme Court (abbreviated to SCJN in Spanish) will be responsible for ruling definitively on this question. The SCJN should approach the case impartially, and it would be extremely alarming if they align themselves with the illegal actions of the Federal Government in the Ayotzinapa case.
The victims’ families in the Iguala case and the organizations that represent them deeply lament this decision, which damages the hope of achieving justice and truth that had been recovered with the courageous ruling of the First Collegiate Tribunal. The accord published today shows that in Mexico we still have a Judiciary in which rulings that truly protect victims exist alongside decisions that protect the powerful.