It began with the left foot, and finished in very poor terms.
This was the case of the relationship between the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (now popularly known as the GIEI in Spanish) and the Mexican government who this past weekend finished their investigation on the disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College students on Sept. 26-27, 2014, in the city of Iguala in the south Mexican state of Guerrero.
Over the weekend there were two press conferences Saturday and Sunday, organized by the Inter American Human Rights Commission (IAHRC) in which the Attorney General’s (PGR) experts on the Ayotzinapa case never showed up.
In fact, given the compromising findings of the GIEI over the destiny of the still missing students, President Enrique Peña Nieto, who invited the IAHRC to investigate the controversial case, thanked the GIEI for their collaboration and told them to hand over the 600 page final report to the Attorney General to study and consider.
The GIEI report, however, contains some highly compromising conclusions not just on the violent disappearance of the students but on the relationship with Mexican police authorities in the state of Guerrero, including municipal, state and federal police units, who after arresting the students handed them over to a heroin manufacturing and trafficking gang known as “United Warriors.”
A sore point in the GIEI report is the one that includes the Mexican Army’s 27th Infantry Battalion located in the area and who according to the GIEI report witnessed how the students were laden onto vehicles and taken from Iguala to nearby Cocula to be handed over for execution to the drug trafficking gang members.
The Army did not permit the GIEI members to query the soldiers who witnessed the kidnapping or arrest, if you will, of the students and did not release pictures taken by one of them because they are not part of the official report, as the soldier apparently took the pictures with his own cell phone.
A main complaint from the GIEI on the reports issued by the Attorney General’s investigator is that none of these events are even recorded in the official investigation and they should be.
As readers will recall, the original investigation was carried out under the aegis of then Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam, who after presenting what everyone called “Pinoccio’s version” of the story, described it as the “historical truth.”
Murillo Karam, however, managed to arrest most of the “United Warriors” who participated in the disappearance who claimed they incinerated the bodies of the 43 missing students at the Cocula municipality garbage disposal dump.
Here came another contradiction. The GIEI investigators claim that at that garbage dump only 17 bodies were burned to destruction, and of those, only one was positively identified as one of the Ayotzinapa students. Who were the rest of the people?
This left 26 bodies unaccounted for which are nowhere to be found in the Attorney General’s investigation reports but their “historical truth” claims that all 43 students were burned at the site.
Reports from the PGR is that those in charge of the case are irritated at the GIEI investigators for disclaiming their “truth” and pointing out to a myriad of irregularities found in the official investigation reports.
Be that as it may the GIEI has filed its conclusions with the president as well as the Attorney General after Peña Nieto decided not to extend their stay in the nation and thank them for their cooperation.
With their report the PGR announced that investigations on the case are to continue but surely they will never be the same and their conclusions will at least have a questionable credibility, not because of the arrests made and the confession of municipal police and the culprits, but because of the doubts created by this investigation made by outsiders.
Surely, upon seeing them go, at the PGR, headed by Arely Gómez, they are saying “good riddance” to the GIEI, but many Mexicans are worried about their own security and the question of how deep the relation between police, Army corps, organized criminals and drug traffickers is on their minds.
The doubt remains alive, and unburned!