To: Angel Aguirre Rivero, Governor of the State of Guerrero, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, Mexican Secretary of State, and Enrique Pena Nieto, President of Mexico
Justice for the 43 Disappeared Mexican Students
In solidarity with the families, friends, and supporters of the disappeared Mexican students, we hereby support their demands:
1. Return the 43 students alive - they were taken alive, we want them back alive!
2. Remove and punish Angel Aguirre, the Governor of Gurrero, and Jose Luis Abarca Velazquez, the municipal president of Iguala, for their responsibility in the murder and disappearance of the students.
3. Stop the repression of the democratic movements of Mexican teachers, students, and other citizens. Free the political prisoners.
Why is this important?
We, the undersigned, are writing in support of the demands of Mexican protesters and to express our indignation about the horrible events of Friday, September 26, 2014, when six people, three of them students, were assassinated and 43 other students were disappeared from the Rural Normal School “Raul Isidro Burgos” in the State of Guerrero, Mexico, and when two teachers two teachers from the State Coordinators of Workers of the Education of Guerrero were mortally wounded.
The persecution and assassinations of the students by the Municipal Police of Iguala and by groups dressed in civil uniforms is extremely alarming to the international community - especially those of us who stand with these students and teachers who were organizing to defend their right to public education - and provides concrete evidence of the lack of guarantees for anyone to exercise their basic human rights, such as those of to petition, demonstrate, and organize.
We demand that your government act immediately to guarantee that the 43 students who were disappeared return alive. We also demand that those responsible for the assassinations and the persecutions, be punished to the fullest extent for their heinous crimes.
We believe that the fight to defend public education and the human and political rights of all the people in our countries is a righteous and just fight, and we demand that you use your positions to bring about justice for these murdered and disappeared freedom fighters.
(Fact Report from Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan)
On September 26, 2014, at 9 pm, 80 students from the Rural Normal School (teacher training college), “Raul Isidro Burgos,” were headed by bus to the city of Chilpancingo from the city of Iguala. As they were leaving the bus station, police cars suddenly blocked the exit of the station and began firing their weapons intermittently without any warning whatsoever.
One student was wounded and still remains in a hospital in a “vegetative state.” The students who were in the back of the bus were violently removed by the police, who forced them to lie in the street by a store. The rest of the students ran in different directions, while the municipal police continued to fire their weapons for almost 40 minutes.
At midnight, as the students were informing other organizations about the attacks, a van arrived and a number of armed people jumped out and started randomly and indiscriminately firing their assault weapons. Two students, Daniel Solis Gallardo and a first year student, were killed; five students and two professors were gravely wounded. This second armed aggression lasted about 15 minutes.
On September 27, Normalista students appeared at the “Fiscalía de la zona Norte de la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado de Guerrero (PGJE) (government judicial state offices), where they were told that no students had been detained. During the second armed attack many of the students had run away to escape the gunfire. Fifty-seven of them were now considered disappeared, including those who were detained by the municipal authorities in the first attacks. After the 27th, 14 students came out of hiding but 43 students still remain missing.
At 4:00 pm, the students at the government judicial state offices (PGJE), the Public Minister informed the students who were at the state office that just three blocks away from the site of the attacks the corpse of one of the students had been found who had visible signs of torture. His eyes had been gouged out and his face had completely skinned. After being identified by his classmates, it was confirmed that it was the body of Julio Cesar Fuentes Mondragon.
On these grounds, a legal complaint was lodged on September 28,2014 denouncing the crimes related to the dangerous disappearance of, of the 57 students (now 43), which was filed under the prior investigation VRA/03/2385/2014 in the State Office(PGJE) of Chilpancingo. A legal complaint has also been filed with the “Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos del Estado de Guerrero,” the State Commission for Human Rights of the State of Guerrero.
The assassination of the three students, the situation of those who were gravely wounded and the disappeared students all constitute grave and serious violations of human rights that cannot remain unpunished. These acts are evidence that the Municipal Police used excessive force in and that there was a failure by the state and federal authorities to implement appropriate preventive and security measures to avoid the second armed aggression, as well as to stop the disappearance of the students.