Seeking to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship.
Last month, citing human rights concerns, the United States quietly withheld about $5 million in counternarcotics assistance for Mexico. The State Department declined to certify that Mexico met conditions imposed on the aid by Congress under the Leahy Amendment, triggering the 15-percent reduction in funding for Mexican security agencies. Though more than $140 million of other U.S. funding will continue to flow, the decision — first reported by The Washington Post and confirmed by a deputy spokesman at the State Department — was cheered by human rights advocates. A senior official at Human Rights Watch told The New York Times that the cut was “unprecedented.”
Mexico’s attorney general said Wednesday that forensic experts had identified a possible match for a second victim in the abduction and purported killing of 43 students last year.
There were “signs that establish a possible connection” between the remains found in plastic bags in a river and missing student Jhosivani Guerrero de la Cruz, one of the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College in the city of Iguala, Attorney General Arely Gomez told reporters, according to Reuters.
The remains were identified by Austrian forensic experts from Innsbruck Medical University, who have already identified one missing student based on a bone fragment.
The government, representatives of the families of the 43 education students who disappeared in southern Mexico last year and some of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, or IACHR, experts who examined the case have hammered out an agreement for a meeting between President Enrique Peña Nieto and relatives on Sept. 24, the Government Secretariat said.
“The Office of the President of the Republic will show its commitment to providing support to victims, direct and indirect, and will continue the investigation until it clears up the incident,” the secretariat said in a statement.
President Enrique Peña Nieto declared on Tuesday September 8th that the investigation into events which occurred in Iguala, Guerrero nearly a year ago is ongoing, and that the federal government will continue to look into the case until the truth about what happened to the 43 students from Ayotzinapa is revealed.
Speaking during a working tour in Puebla, the president reiterated the unwavering determination of his government to be close to the families of the students and to discover the truth about an event which has outraged and damaged Mexican society.
In a month, we will commemorate the appalling disappearance of 43 student activistsfrom the rural teacher’s college in Ayotzinapa, Mexico. While the remains of only one student has supposedly been identified, search parties have discovered the clandestine graves of many others murdered in Guerrero, a state overwhelmed by violence and corruption.
A week ago we marked the second anniversary of another Guerrero tragedy. This one involves a Renton resident, in a narrative just as surreal. Nestora Salgado has dual citizenship; in 1991, she came to the Seattle area and juggled multiple jobs to provide for her three daughters and eventual grandchildren. When she achieved stability, Nestora then resolved to support her hometown of Olinalá. She would visit for a month or two each year, donating her time, food, toys. Her charisma and fearlessness led to a position of leadership in this mostly indigenous community.
Guerrero law and the Mexican Constitution guarantee the rights of indigenous communities to create their own justice and security institutions. Nestora became a leader of a community-policing group that legally forms part of state law enforcement.The group tried to protect their community from the staggering levels of narco violence in the area. By many accounts, they had great success weakening the traffickers’ grip on Olinalá.
Mexico City, the nation’s capital, was long considered a safe haven for journalists compared with the rest of Mexico. However, it is no longer safe. This became clear after Mexican photojournalist Rubén Espinosa, who fled the coastal state of Veracruz after receiving threats, was murdered in Mexico City on July 31.
Veracruz is a particularly dangerous state. At least 11 journalists have been killed and three have disappeared there in the past four years since ruling PRI party’s Javier Duarte became the governor of Veracruz, which tops the list of Mexican states with most reporters murdered.
More than 500 writers, journalists and artists from around the world have signed a letter to Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, calling on him to stop the violence against journalists in his country.
The signatories from more than 40 countries include Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Gael García Bernal, Noam Chomsky, John Coetzee, Guillermo del Toro, Paul Auster, Alan Rusbridger, Gavin MacFadyen, Arianna Huffington, Christiane Amanpour and Jo Glanville, the director of English PEN.