– The creation of a Special Unit and the designation of its head are steps in the right direction.
Mexico City, June 26, 2019. Today, 57 months after the enforced disappearance of 43 students in the city of Iguala on September 26, 2014, the “Agreement on the Creation of a Special Unit for the Investigation and Litigation of the Ayotzinapa Case” was published in the Official Federal Gazette of Mexico. The designation of Omar Gómez Trejo as the head of the Special Unit, a sub-office of the Attorney General’s Office (FGR, by its Spanish acronym), was made public later.
The families of the disappeared students and the organizations that support them see this announcement as the beginning of a new phase in the criminal investigation of the crimes committed against the 43 Ayotzinapa students.
The appointment of Omar Gómez Trejo is particularly promising given his deep knowledge of the case and his experience in international human rights bodies, which suggest that the investigation will be professional and objective.
However, the Unit faces major challenges. The new Attorney General of Mexico, Alejandro Gertz Manero, will be in charge of a complex investigation with lines of inquiry that must be explored in depth, accusations that must be filed, and search plans that must be implemented. For this reason, it is essential that he monitor this decision and support permanently the efforts of the FGR.
Likewise, it is vital that the head of the new Special Unit work hand in hand with Alejandro Encinas, Undersecretary for Human Rights and head of the Presidential Commission for Truth and Access to Justice in the Ayotzinapa Case, as his support is decisive in making progress to solve the case.
The new FGR must also work hand in hand with international human rights bodies, including the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which have already provided technical assistance to the investigation and have shown their generous willingness to keep collaborating with Mexico to this end.
The relatives of the disappeared students see this announcement as a new opportunity for the FGR to prove its accountability to the families who search for their disappeared and to prove that it can break the pacts of impunity that cover up the gross human rights violations committed in the country. The numerous victims and all of Mexican society are placing hope in this Special Unit.
Narce Santibañez Alejandre
Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center
Mobile. 04455 8531 2218