We begin with the conflict, in a followup to a report cited in yesterday’s MexicoWatch, via teleSUR English:
Argentina forensic team questions Mexican gov’t version
The independent Argentine forensic team investigating the scientific evidence in the disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students issued a statement taking issue with the Mexican government’s claim that no doubts remain that the youth were killed and their bodies incinerated. The forensic team’s arguments on the irregularities in the government investigation have given new hope to the family members of the missing students. Clayton Conn reports from Mexico City.
From the Latin American Herald Tribune, the inevitable response:
Mexican Prosecutors Rip Argentine Specialists in Missing Students Case
The Attorney General’s Office on Monday criticized the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, or EAAF, for raising doubts about the investigation into the disappearance of 43 education students in southern Mexico last year.
The investigation is being conducted “with transparency and professionalism,” the AG’s office said in a long statement.
The EAAF said numerous irregularities had been found during the investigation with federal prosecutors into the disappearance of 43 education students last September in the southern state of Guerrero.
From teleSUR, reasonable concerns:
Families of Ayotzinapa Students Worried for Argentine Experts
- A group of foreign forensic anthropologists has highly criticized the state’s investigations into the missing students.
The families of the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students said they stand behind the recent revelation by Argentine experts who called the state’s investigations into the case slanted, and asked for extra security for the group of foreign experts.
In a press conference Monday, Felipe de la Cruz, the spokesperson for the families, said the experts need extra protection “because we know that when things do not go as the government wants them to, they retaliate.”
The team of 30 foreign experts was hired as an independent party on behalf of the students’ parents who did not trust Mexican officials to carry out the investigation on their own.
The Latin American Herald Tribune covers a crisis and a shutdown at yet another college:
Mexican University Closes Down Due to Gang Threats
The campus of the Universidad Valle De Mexico, UVM, in Nuevo Laredo in the north-eastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas has closed, weeks after it announced the suspension of on-campus activities due to gang threats of extortion, kidnapping and attacks.
“From today onwards, we will be communicating with each of our students to let them know the alternatives that we offer them to continue their studies,” said the university in a Facebook post on Monday.
It further said that the UVM “has 36 campuses throughout the country and a solid platform of online degrees,” which makes it confident that each of its students “will find an alternative to suit their needs.”
From teleSUR, sad confirmation:
Kidnappings, Murders Continue in Guerrero State, Mexico
- The population of the state of Guerrero, rewnowned for the disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa, continues to face violence.
An armed group murdered five people and kidnapped three others in the town of San Geronimo Palantla, district of Chilapa, reported Proceso on Monday.
On Sunday at 10 p.m., armed people traveling in six vans attacked the police station and killed four inside, hurt others, and kidnapped three more. Three hours beforehand, two indigenous people, accompanied by various residents, had filed a complaint about the kidnapping of their husbands by armed civilians coming from Rincon de Chautla; the commissioner told them then that their husbands will be shortly released, but a couple of hours later the same armed civilians attacked the place, shot at the people inside, and returned to Rincon de Chautla with three hostages.
The district of Chilapa is known for heroine and marijuana production, as well as violent confrontations between local criminal gangs, the Rojos and Ardillos, led by the family of the president of the state congress, Bernardo Ortega Jimenez of the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), according to Proceso.
Additionally, the armed group allegedly went back to San Geronimo in order to drop off the corpse of another victim; it also left one woman injured.
Chinese firm files for compensation over suspended Mexico rail project
The China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) has filed for compensation following the suspension of a high-speed rail project it won in a bidding in Mexico, Mexican media reported on Monday.
The firm submitted the relevant paperwork “at the end of January,” confirmed Pablo Suarez Coello, director-general of rail transport at the Communications and Transportation Ministry, according to Mexico’s state news agency Notimex.
Suarez made the remarks when interviewed by reporters at the inauguration of Expo-Rail 2015, being held in the Caribbean resort of Cancun by the Mexican Association of Railroads.
Mexican officials have yet to negotiate such compensation with the Chinese firm, said Suarez.
From Latin American Herald Tribune, where the bodies aren’t buried:
Mexicans Say It Will Take Weeks to ID Bodies Left at Crematorium
The preliminary identification of 60 embalmed bodies discovered at a shuttered crematorium in the resort city of Acapulco will require at least three weeks, the attorney general of the southern Mexican state of Guerrero said Monday.
Authorities will need “around 20 days at a minimum,” Miguel Angel Godinez told MVS radio.
He said investigators have found no evidence conflicting with their hypothesis that the bodies were simply left behind by the crematorium’s operators when they abandoned the failed firm.
And to close, another protest image from Mexico, via Valkiria_VK, featuring images of the missing: