Mexico and the UN will collaborate to solve the Ayotzinapa case

Michelle Bachelet said “no one should be subjected any longer to such agony”

Mexico and the UN will collaborate to solve the Ayotzinapa case
The UN has always rejected the official version issued by Peña Nieto's government - Photo: Marco Ugarte/AP
English 09/04/2019 14:29 EL UNIVERSAL in English/Gretel Morales Mexico City Actualizada 14:35

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On Monday, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Mexican government signed an agreement, where the UN has agreed to provide guidance and technical assistance to solve the Ayotzinapa case.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Marcelo Luis Ebrard; Olga Sánchez Cordero, Minister of the Interior; Martha Delgado, Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet signed the collaboration agreement.

During the conference, where the family members of the missing students were present, Bachelet explained that “my Office in Mexico will provide guidance and technical assistance in the Ayotzinapa case. This is a paradigmatic case that shows the magnitude of disappearances in Mexico and the challenges that its justice system faces in addressing human rights violations.”

She also commended the new administration for its efforts to solve the Ayotzinapa case and urged it to “address the shortcomings in the investigation of the then-Attorney General's Office that has been pointed out by national and international organizations.”

Bachelet also hinted that the new administration could also collaborate with other international organizations to solve the case: “I acknowledge the openness and commitment of the new Government to collaborate with international human rights organizations, including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, as the investigation of the case moves forward. I also recognize the willingness of the members of the new Ayotzinapa Presidential Commission – especially the head of the Commission, Undersecretary Alejandro Encinas – to finalize this Agreement.”

Nevertheless, the UN High Commissioner said that Mexico needs to implement structural changes to “make justice happen for victims of grave human rights violations, and to settle a historical debt with victims of violence.”

The UN official urged the Mexican government to search for the 40,000 people missing in the country, and emphasized how enforced disappearances hurt and affect their families, and also, the lasting effect it has over society and democracy.

She also thanked all the human rights organizations who have accompanied the families of the missing students, including Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez, Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña "Tlachinollan”, Servicios y Asesoría para la Paz (SERAPAZ), and Centro de Análisis e Investigación FUNDAR.

She also sent a heartfelt message to the families: “I want to reiterate to the families – some of whom I had the opportunity to meet – that you can count on my full support and that of my office for your cause and claims. I also reiterate my most affectionate recognition of your dignity, courage, and integrity.”