November the 28th, 2014, London, United Kingdom
Mr. Diego Gómez Pickering
Ambassador of Mexico
Embassy of Mexico in the United Kingdom
16 St George Street,
London, UK. W1S 1FD
This letter is delivered as part of today’s protest at the Mexican Embassy in the United Kingdom, a protest organized and officially endorsed by University College London Student Union, Kings College London Student Union and the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts. These organizations, and the undersigned, are profoundly concerned with the role of the Mexican state in the events that took place on September the 26th, 2014 where the municipal police of Iguala, Guerrero, attacked the students from the rural teacher-training college Raúl Isidro Burgos, of Ayotzinapa, killing six people, torturing at least one of these victims, injuring 20, and allegedly handing over 43 students to the organized crime.
On November the 7th, the Attorney General, Mr. Jesús Murillo Karam, suggested in a press conference that the 43 disappeared students had been killed based on three testimonies. By pretending that the investigation into the matter is advancing, the government sought to appease the national and international pressure providing a false image that things in Mexico were under control. However, Mr. Murillo Karam had to admit that the investigation is still incomplete and that the results are inconclusive. According to Amnesty International, the investigation “has been biased and incomplete, failing to challenge the entrenched collusion between the state and the organised crime which underlies these grave human rights violations”. The relatives of the students and international observers have pointed out that investigations undertaken by local and federal governments have severe deficiencies. Since there is no scientific proof of what the Attorney General announced (on his own admission), the students remain disappeared and we demand they are found and sent back to their families ALIVE.
On November the 20th, mass demonstrations against the government’s response to the disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero took place (more than 250 protests not only in Mexico but also at the Global level). Hundreds of thousands of people have marched peacefully throughout Mexico City in the largest demonstration yet seen. Nevertheless, episodes of police brutality in Mexico City’s Central Square have been widely documented. Eleven youngsters arbitrarily detained the night of the 20th of November were sent to the maximum security prisons far from Mexico City, charged with terrorism, riot, attempted murder, and organised crime.
These events mark the biggest political and public security crisis that the Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto had faced during his administration. The Mexican Government’s response is wrong, violates international human rights law, and is exacerbating the breakup between the civil society and the political system. The Mexican citizens are asking for accountability, transparency and dialogue but the response of the political class manipulates the information, maintaining the status quo of ghastly impunity. When people demanded the government to stop the violence, the response was the criminalisation of social protest, provocation and police violence to induce fear. In consequence:
- We demand that the 43 disappeared students are brought back to their relatives alive immediately, and that everybody who has been responsible for this be taken to court.
- More than two months have passed since the State committed this crime. We urge the Mexican government to stop hindering the investigation and to give a complete, accurate and reliable report about the whereabouts of the 43 students. If Mr. Murillo Karam is not able to lead a reliable investigation we demand him to immediately resign and to be judged for obstructing the course of justice.
- We demand the immediate release of all the political prisoners listed below:
Juan Daniel López Ávila, Laurence Maxwell Ilabaca, Hugo Bautista Hernández, Tania, Ivón Damián Rojas, Liliana Garduño Ortega, Atzín Andrade González, Ramón Domínguez Patlan, Roberto Jasso del Ángel, Luis Carlos Pichardo Moreno, Hillary Anali González Olguín and Francisco García Martínez.
In order to make sure that the embassy is collaborating with the interests of Mexicans, we urge you to put pressure on your colleagues in the Federal Government to do justice by releasing these prisoners and to give us information about the legal status of each of these political detainees.
- We demand the Mayor of Mexico City, Mr. Miguel Ángel Mancera, and the President Enrique Peña Nieto assume political and legal responsibility for the repression of the civil population and for using undercover police to initiate violence.
- We demand that the right to protest and of freedom of speech is guaranteed for all in Mexico.
- We urge you, Mr. Gómez Pickering, to immediately cease the marketing campaign that is giving a false image of Mexico to foreign investors. As a representative of the Mexican People in the UK you should immediately recognize the crimes committed by the State in Iguala, Guerrero and the humanitarian crisis that is going on in Mexico. If you do not give us any meaningful, substantial and practical feedback within a week, we respectfully ask you, in the name of trust and accountability, to resign from your post.
Unlike the Mexican embassy and the Mexican government, members of the society of the United Kingdom have showed their solidarity and defended the rights of Mexicans to protest and to live a life in peace. More than 40 UK Members of Parliament have signed a motion in relation to Ayotzinapa. Yet, unbelievably, this Embassy has not mentioned a single word about this humanitarian crisis, even when its official website shows off the commitment with human rights as part of its mission. We demand from you not just words, but effective actions. You can start by recognising the incompetency and the multiple crimes committed by the Mexican government.
Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, Ayotzinapa Nottingham Collective, Cambridge Mexico Solidarity, Collective for Social Justice in Mexico (Athens – Greece), Dorset Chiapas Solidarity Group, Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group, Glasgow for Ayotzinapa, KIPTIK Bristol, Imperial. College Latinamerican Society, London Mexico Solidarity, Manchester for Ayotzinapa, Manchester Zapatista Collective, National Campaign Against Fees & Cuts, Sheffield-Mexico Solidarity, Socialist Worker Student Society, Sussex Students for Ayotzinapa, UCLU Marxists, UK Zapatista Learning and Teaching Collective, UK Zapatista Solidarity Network, UK Zapatista Translation Service, York Mexico Solidarity, YoSoy132Londres, Zapatista Solidarity Group – Essex.