Ayotzinapa and the grave human rights situation in Mexico: Social organizations and experts at the UN Human Rights Council

Mexico’s human rights crisis and what occurred in Ayotzinapa were presented at the UN Human Rights Council.

Today for the first time Mexico’s human rights crisis and what occurred in Ayotzinapa were presented at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, along with the latest report by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI in Spanish). This Group was created by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to provide international technical assistance with the investigation into the enforced disappearance of the 43 teaching students.

The emblematic case of Ayotzinapa brought the world’s attention to what is happening in Mexico, where in recent years at least 27,000 disappearances and 100,000 deaths have been recorded as well as innumerable arbitrary detentions and the forced displacement of many populations.

One of the five members of the GIEI, Carlos Beristain, spoke about the importance of these experiences of investigating grave violations by bodies linked to the mechanisms for human rights protection and promotion. He also highlighted the Group’s recommendations about how to address the structural problem of disappearances in Mexico. Beristain’s presentation took place during a side event co-organized by the Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos (CMDPDH) and CELS, with the support of Conectas Direitos Humanos.

Another member of the GIEI, Claudia Paz y Paz, and Beristain met today with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. Meanwhile the Deputy High Commissioner, Kate Gilmore, met with two Mexican organizations that represent the families of the 43 missing students – Centro Prodh and Tlachinollan, Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña – CELS and Conectas. Gilmore expressed the commitment of the High Commissioner’s Office to prioritize following the Ayotzinapa case because of what it represents in terms of the fight against impunity.

CELS, on behalf of nearly 50 organizations from throughout Latin America, made a public statement at the Human Rights Council regarding the grave situation in Mexico and the inadequate response by the State, which refuses to recognize the structural pattern of violations that exists there. The joint statement also mentions the repression of a protest by teachers in Oaxaca last Sunday, in which at least nine people were killed and seven disappeared. (See the statement being read aloud in Chapter 43 of this video)