Nine months after the massacre of 43 students from a teachers college in Iguala, the “historic truth” about what happened is still far from being known—despite what the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) says. What is becoming clear is that the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto isn’t willing to cooperate in order to, first, establish what really happened that tragic night and then, punish everyone involved.
The massacre was a tough blow for the government. From the beginning, it has been overwhelmed by reactions to the disappearance of students amidst a confusing narrative that involves municipal authorities, drug traffickers, the police and the army. The PGR’s investigation—after dozens were arrested, many of them tortured—said that the students were detained by police officers and turned over to assassins from a drug gang, who killed them, burned their remains and threw them in the river.
That narrative raised more doubts than it resolved. Therefore, the government looked abroad for credibility. First, experts from Argentina came. They were well recommended, until they refused to let the PGR lead them by the hand in their investigation. Things ended with the PGR being accused of wanting to confirm a narrative obtained during interrogations, instead of letting the evidence speak for itself. The PGR in turn accused the experts of getting involved in matters that are unfamiliar to them.
Once the Argentines refused to ratify the PGR’s version of the incident, someone thought that the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts from the Organization of American States would have better luck. Not so. The group, which is in the middle of its six-month investigation, is frustrated with the PGR’s lack of support for its requests, and particularly frustrated at being unable to interview members of the 27th Military Battalion. At the same time, its members disagree with the PGR’s narrative of the “historic truth.”
So far, this process has been a failure if the idea was to obtain an independent second opinion that confirms the PGR’s version. It’s another example of how Los Pinos has miscalculated things from the beginning, in its urgency to resolve this crime just to remove it from the public agenda instead of seeking justice. Mexicans and the students’ families deserve the truth.