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Peña Nieto gives his videotaped message. Peña Nieto gives his videotaped message.

President believes initial findings in Ayotzinapa probe were correct

Those findings have been rejected by several independent assessments

President Enrique Peña Nieto stands by the “historical truth” declared by investigators in the disappearance of 43 teacher-training students in Iguala, Guerrero, in September 2014.

Then-attorney general Jesús Murillo Karam declared in early 2015 that the students of the Ayotzinapa teacher training college had been killed by a crime gang which had then burned their bodies. His announcement was initially received with some skepticism.

It later turned to flat-out rejection after independent investigators concluded that the official findings were flawed.

“Personally, and [knowing] the pain and the sorrow of the students’ families, I am of the conviction that what regrettably happened was what the investigation found,” Peña Nieto said in a video posted online.

Although the parents of the students have rejected the official findings, he said, “there was clear and convincing evidence that, unfortunately, the 43 youths had been incinerated by a criminal group that operated in the state of Guerrero.”

He said there was “no way to repair the loss of a child” but what happened to the students “should never be repeated in our country.”

Today, the Centro Prodh human rights group in Guerrero criticized the president’s comments via Twitter. It accused him of deliberately omitting to say the official investigation was condemned by four independent organizations and a court.

It said the federal government continues to insist on maintaining its “historical lie.”

On January 27, 2015, four months after the students disappeared, the attorney general declared that the students were “kidnapped, murdered, incinerated and thrown into a river. In that order. This is the historical truth . . . .”

The Group of Interdisciplinary Independent Experts, an international group of lawyers and human rights experts that performed their own investigation, shot down the official account in their last report, issued in April 2016.

The experts left Mexico “disappointed and frustrated,” and convinced that the authorities were “married” to Murillo’s findings. They also claimed that federal authorities had blocked their investigation by denying access to officials and information.

Peña Nieto’s online message came four days before his sixth and final report on national affairs, an official event held before Congress every year on September 1. He will follow that with a televised address to the nation on September 3.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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