A Mexican federal court has effectively thrown out the government’s investigation into the disappearance of 43 college students from the Ayotzinapa teachers’ school in 2014 and ordered a new investigation. A three-judge panel issued the ruling Monday after several people suspected in the disappearances asked the judges to review their cases. They said their confessions were extracted by torture. The judicial tribunal responded by issuing a unanimous and wide-ranging indictment of the entire case, saying it “wasn’t quick, effective, independent or impartial.” The judges also accused Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office of failing to follow up on key evidence, writing, “There is no sign that they even explored the lines of investigation that signaled participation of personnel from the Mexican army or the Federal Police.” Amnesty International welcomed the ruling as an important advance in the search for truth and justice. For more, we speak with Anabel Hernández, Mexican investigative reporter. In her latest book, “The True Night of Iguala,” she describes how Mexican soldiers were involved in the disappearance and apparent massacre of the 43 students.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: We turn now to Mexico, where a federal court has effectively thrown out the government’s investigation into the disappearance of 43 college students from Ayotzinapa teachers’ school in 2014 and ordered a new investigation. Amnesty International welcomed the ruling as an important advance in the search for truth and justice. Moving forward, the tribunal ordered the creation of a truth commission to oversee a new investigation led by parents of the victims and human rights bodies.
AMY GOODMAN: For more, we go to Mexico City, where we’re joined by Anabel Hernández, Mexican investigative reporter, her latest book, The True Night of Iguala, in which she describes how Mexican soldiers were involved in the disappearance and apparent massacre of the 43 students.
Welcome back to Democracy Now!, Anabel.
ANABEL HERNÁNDEZ: Hello. Good morning.
AMY GOODMAN: Talk about the significance of this judicial decision.
ANABEL HERNÁNDEZ: Excuse me, I didn’t hear you very well.
AMY GOODMAN: Oh, talk about what the judge decided. Talk about the investigation that has been thrown out.
ANABEL HERNÁNDEZ: OK. Yeah, well, last month, here in Mexico, in Tamaulipas, the north of Mexico, one tribunal of—integrated by independent magistrates, they decided to create—to order to the president of Mexico to create one truth commission to make a new investigation, a whole new investigation, related with the case of the 43 students disappeared on September of 2014 in Iguala, Guerrero, in that terrible conditions that we have—we have talked about that before. So, the tribunal, they analyzed all the investigation made by the PGR, and they said, in all these more than 700 pages of this resolution, they determined that the Mexican government didn’t do a good investigation. They said that even exist many depositions, many testimonies, many elements, to investigate immediately to the Army and to the Federal Police, the PGR didn’t. And they said that this really affected the investigation since the beginning.
They also said, Amy, as we have been talking about this before—as you know, I have been investigating this case since October of 2014. I was the first journalist that discovered that in Iguala was the presence of the Army and the Federal Police in all the attacks. As you know, I discovered that exist in Iguala this C4. It’s a kind of big office where all the institutions related with the public security, as municipal police, state police, Army, Federal Police, were all together, coordinated that terrible night.
In this document, in the resolution of this tribunal, they also are agreed, they affirm, that, yes, the C4 exists; yes, the Army were in charge of the C4 that night; and the Army sometimes cut off the communications between the Federal Police and the Army, that were together, to the municipal police. This means that in some hours of that night, in the hours where occurred the disappear, I mean, between 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., in all of this hour, in these documents, in this resolution, they also determined that all the communications between the C4 and the municipal police were shut down. Even the municipal police couldn’t know what were happening, because the Army took all of the control of the C4, as I have been saying since December 2014, when I published my first article in a magazine, Proceso, and when I showed documents that proves that the real institution, the real group in charge that night of Iguala, that coordinated all these things that happened, was not the Major José Luis Abarca, was not just the municipal police, was the Army, who was in charge. And this document shows very—determinated this very clearly.
AMY GOODMAN: We just have 30 seconds, Anabel Hernández. Anabel—
ANABEL HERNÁNDEZ: They also said that the Mexican government—sorry, yes.
AMY GOODMAN: We just have 30 seconds. What will happen now? Who will conduct a new investigation.
ANABEL HERNÁNDEZ: Well, this tribunal ordered to the president create in 10 days this truth commission. They suggest, the tribunal suggests, that this commission should be integrated by relatives of the 43 students, members of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, members of these groups, especially that they—that made their own independent investigation since April 2015 to the last year. And they also suggest that the members of the Argentine forensics team also should be part of this truth commission.
AMY GOODMAN: Anabel Hernández, we have to leave it there, Mexican investigative journalist. We thank you for being with us from Mexico City. Her book, The True Night of Iguala.