Students and families protest the disappearance of the 43 young normalistas from Ayotzinapa at Military Camp 1 in Mexico City on September 21, holding a sign that reads "Where are our children?".EFE/Mario Guzmán

Families of 43 disappeared students are losing patience near 9th anniversary

Ines Amarelo

Mexico City, Sep 25 (EFE).- On Monday, before the ninth anniversary of the disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa, families are running out of patience, and pressure is mounting on President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to fulfill his promise to solve the case.

The parents of the students who disappeared on the night of September 26, 2014, in the southern state of Guerrero have been holding a sit-in since Thursday at the entrance to Military Camp 1 in Naucalpan as part of their protest in Mexico City.

They demand that the army provide the missing documents on the case and help find the students.

On Wednesday, the families met with López Obrador, who assured them the information had already been delivered.

“He is covering it up because he doesn’t want the boys (members of the Army) to be investigated,” said Tamara García, mother of Saúl Bruno García, in an interview with EFE.

“They know where they left them. Why don’t they tell us the truth?” She added.

“My husband died without knowing. That’s why I’m going to go on. I want to know where my son is,” the mother said.

Families reiterate their demands

Relatives and students at the sit-in expect it to end on Monday after the parents attend a meeting at the Ministry of Interior, where they will reiterate the demands for the delivery of documents made on Wednesday.

“As mothers, we want to know where our children are. If they were in our shoes, they would do the same,” said Magdalena Maestros, mother of Antonio Santana Maestros, in an interview with EFE.

“Let them deliver this information so we can know where our children are,” she added.

On Wednesday, the Mexican president handed over some documents. However, he insisted that everything was already in the hands of investigators.

Students protest the disappearance of the 43 young normalistas from Ayotzinapa at Military Camp 1, on September 21, 2023, in Mexico City (Mexico). EFE/Mario Guzmán

So far, the information is being studied without the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) created by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

The GIEI recently withdrew from the country, stating that it was impossible to proceed with its investigation due to the lack of cooperation from the army.

After eight years in the country, the decision was made after having been supported by López Obrador, who now calls them enemies, saying that they intend to go against the State and the Army.

“We believe that there is no respect. The National Palace is starting to attack the experts,” said Melitón Ortega, spokesman for the parents of the missing students.

Ortega also points out that although the president’s term of office will end in October 2024, he still needs to fulfill his promise to resolve the case.

On Monday, the families will meet with the Secretary of the Interior, Luisa María Alcalde, and the Secretary of Human Rights, Population and Migration, Alejandro Encinas.

They hope that this meeting will change the denial that any information will be released.

“We are not going to say that they are dead,” Eduardo, a student at the Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School in Ayotzinapa, told EFE in front of Military Camp 1, assuring that the classmates of the 43 missing students will continue to demand justice.

“The struggle to know where they are has not stopped. We continue to look for them, as do their parents. Wherever they are, we want justice,” he added.

They already assume they are dead, but until there is scientific proof and testimonies that they were murdered, “we will not say that they are dead. For us, they are alive,” said Eduardo.

The Mexican government’s Truth Commission concluded in 2022 that the disappearance was a “state crime” involving authorities and the armed forces.

López Obrador’s government rejected the controversial version of the Enrique Peña Nieto administration (2012-2018), which claimed that corrupt police officers detained the students and handed them over to the Guerreros Unidos cartel, which murdered them and burned them in the Cocula landfill. EFE