We request fellow advocates to use this photo as (facebook) profile pic to show solidarity with our allies in Mexico. AFAD reiterates its call for justice with the following statement originally released on November 10, a month before the International Human Rights Day.
Justice for the 43 students!!!
“Justice for the 43 Mexican Students! (Justicia para los 43 estudiantes mexicanos!)”
On September 26, a group of students travelling to Mexico City was attacked by police forces in the southern state of Guerrero. The incident left 6 dead and 43 missing. More than 40 days after the disappearance of the students, suspected gang members confessed to killing the missing students. Members of the said gang admitted to burning the bodies for 15 hours and throwing the remains in a nearby river.
This tragedy puts yet another punctuation mark on Mexico’s long history of human rights violations. It can only by presumed what kind of torture these students were exposed to after they were abducted and before they were handed over to the Guerreros Unidos cartel to be massacred. Hence, in one tragic incident, the Mexican state is potentially responsible for Enforced Disappearance, Extra-Judicial Killings, and possibly, Torture.
The Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) condemns this human rights atrocity!
AFAD reminds the Mexican government that it has signed and ratified the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPAPED). Thus, it is under obligation to “take the necessary measures to ensure that enforced disappearance constitutes an offence under its criminal law” (ICPAPED Art. 4). AFAD calls on the Mexican government to bring the perpetrators to justice by serving the strongest possible conviction.
Furthermore, the Mexican government must affirm “the right of any victim to know the truth about the circumstances of an enforced disappearance and the fate of the disappeared person, and the right to freedom to seek, receive and impart information to this end” (ICPAPED Preamble). AFAD calls on the Mexican government to bring peace to the families of the victims by ensuring that DNA confirmatory tests are expedited within the soonest possible time and that further steps to ferret out the truth and provide justice be done without delay.
With exactly a month before international human rights day, may this be a reminder that the struggle to end the culture of impunity across the globe is far from over. Now that in Mexico, the expression “Ya me cansé del miedo” (Enough, I am tired of being afraid) has been adopted, we, AFAD members, declare that we are also tired of human rights violations. But no matter how tiresome the struggle, we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Mexico.
Justice to the 43 students! Justice to all victims of enforced disappearances!
MARY AILEEN D. BACALSO