How times change!
In the old days, twice-presidential candidate and loser Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) used to refer to former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari as “el innombrable” or “the unmentionable” one.
Nowadays for government officials, “el innombrable” or the unmentionable one is AMLO himself.
What’s beleaguering the government is the issue of the 43 missing students from the Ayotzinapa teachers’ college, which continues to hound and irritate both President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration and the National Defense Secretariat (Sedena).
AMLO keeps on repeating that the answer is with Peña Nieto, who tells lies to the people instead of the truth and insists that Peña Nieto “has used the Army to repress” and that the Army also knows what happened to the Ayotzinapa 43.
In fact, Tuesday night Sedena Human Rights Department Director General José Carlos Beltrán Benítez staged a most unusual press conference in which he denied any wrongdoing by the Mexican Army in terms of human rights violations when carrying out interdiction actions against organized crime.
In his one hour-long press conference General Beltrán never mentioned the name of Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Yet it was clear that Sedena is highly irritated at AMLO who in his frenzied career for the presidential seat, knows that by attacking “the mobsters in power,” he gets the future voters’ attention and in the process makes the Mexican State look like a liar.
But General Beltrán said that “a social actor” (obviously the new unmentionable one) has slandered and offended the Army which “emphatically rejects” the accusations, as they act according to the law.
As a background reference to the onslaught of government attacks against AMLO for saying what he did, please read last Monday’s column titled “Messiah in the Snow.” In it, I mention three noteworthy politicos talking about AMLO by inference, never by name.
The Sedena Human Rights director does not tolerate human rights infringements by soldiers now routinely patrolling the nation nor will it do it. But he demands proof.
“If any person has evidence, let them present their alleged complaints and accusations over which has been highly speculated about in the media,” he said.
Answering questions at the end of his fiery statement, Beltrán, following the apparent Mexican military protocol of always talking in generalities and never specifics, referred to what has been said in the media. But as we know, only AMLO has said things like that the gangsters that were machine gunned down from a helicopter during a bust in Tepic were “children” (he’d later change it to teenagers) in an obvious breach of human rights, and also that the Army has to respond about the Ayotzinapa 43 missing students .
“These accusations lack facts that prove them and, consequently, are false until an authority in exercise of their powers show us that someone in the military is responsible for them,” said the general.
He defended the military actions against organized crime, “because those of us who are members of the Armed Forces act with the conviction of serving the nation, with the conviction of generating credibility in an institution the entirety of the people trusts and that the majority of the soldiers have always tried to comply with the law and achieve our missions.”
But there must be something as to why the Mexican State (as the government is addressed as in Spanish – “el Estado”) goes on the defensive every time the case of the missing students comes up.
The government denies hiding any facts as to what happened and on different occasions Interior Secretariat Human Rights Representative Roberto Campa Cifrián has defended the official “historic truth” concocted by former Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam, that said that the 43 students were killed and burnt at the municipal garbage dump at the town of Cocula, in the state of Guerrero. The investigation has 130 Cocula police officers and members of a heroin trafficking gang in prison.
“There is no element to say that the State was responsible. It was organized crime in collusion with municipal police who vanished the 43 students,” he said.
No remains of the students were found in the Cocula dump after specialized DNA testing, and the question remains unanswered. Where were they buried?
AMLO says they have to ask “the chief of the armed forces” Enrique Peña Nieto.
No wonder AMLO’s name is never mentioned by officials.
The unmentionable one has changed name!