jueves, octubre 30, 2014

Forced disappearance of persons

Juan de Dios Hernández Monge*

The extrajudicial executions in Iguala and the enforced disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa has shaken the whole world, but that has not been enough for the government to make the minimum effort to procure and dispense justice: trying to deceive the whole world and to protect themselves from international criminal responsibility as they are incurred..

On September 27, 43 students were detained illegally by repressive elements of the State and they taken in official vehicles to a place known September 27, 43 students were detained illegally by repressive elements of the State and they taken in official vehicles to an unknown place. While they were abducted and placed outside the protection of the law, the Mexican State has systematically refused to admit that we are facing a crime against humanity and has not notified the relatives about the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared. The above implies that they are  elements of the body of a crime of enforced disappearance of person, laid down in article 7 of the Rome Statute, which states: "'Forced disappearance of persons means the arrest, detention or abduction of persons by a State or a political organization, or with its authorization, support or acquiescence, followed by a refusal to admit that deprivation of freedom or to give information on the fate or whereabouts of those persons, with the intention of leaving them outside the protection of the law for a prolonged period."

In the crimes against humanity the perpetrator is always the State, through individuals who act on its behalf, i.e. with the acquiescence; this happened in this case. But, however that before the national and international media the government speaks of disappearance, in the track of the facts, the Council of the Federal Judiciary reported that, by the facts of the 26 and 27 September in Iguala, were appropriated by the PGR, before the first district court in federal criminal proceedings of Tamaulipas, in the cause 100/2014, 24 municipal police for the crime of organized crime and illegal deprivation of liberty in the form of kidnapping.

We see in this conduct the modus operandi of the Mexican State to evade the action of the international justice and promote impunity for the material and intellectual authors. It is clear that the guaranteed impunity serves as breeding ground for crimes against humanity continue to be perpetrated throughout the country. Nevertheless, the constitutional article 21 says that the Federal executive one will be able, with the approval of the Senate in every case, to recognize the jurisdiction of the International Penal Court (CPI). Our country recognized the jurisdiction of the ICC, so that crimes against humanity must be prosecuted in the international arena where, as in this case, negative for an investigation, determining responsibility and subjecting the material and intellectual perpetrators the course of justice. Furthermore, although there is a law of the state of Guerrero on the Prevention and Punishment Forced Disappearance of People, which establishes the supplementary use of international treaties on the matter (which in this case is represented by the Rome Statute), it has not been applied.

It is appropriate to invoke the jurisdiction of the ICC given that Mexico is part of this international treaty, denouncing the crimes referred to in Article 5 as crimes against humanity and occurred in Mexican territory; you must invoke the authority of the ICC Prosecutor to initiate an investigation into this crime has not been prosecuted for those responsible, and among the offenses for which the municipal police are being processed are neither forced disappearance of person or extrajudicial execution or torture. There has been no investigation more than 30 days after the event occurred.

We consider it essential to move to a new stage, creating a culture of international condemnation to break the historical silence, that can build a collective memory for the discovery of truth and using their own instruments, judge criminals against humanity. We must put the Mexican State in the dock, which would open the possibility of breaking the veil of impunity, or at least demonstrate the ineffectiveness and complicity of the entire legal system.

Considering the aspects of the situation, it is not enough visible tragedy; by the pain of the bereaved; because there can be no forgiveness or forgetfulness; that those responsible should be punished; because it is an ethical imperative to fight against impunity, and because the Mexican government who appears as a perpetrator of many crimes against humanity, is that we should report it to the ICC prosecutor. This would be just the beginning of an unprecedented period of social struggle, which for the first time legally confront the state in the international arena.

*Lawyer for the students

Traducción Jessica Budd