Below are Jim’s comments on the pieces attached. Also below is Alma Guillermoprieto’s article in the NYRB, published before the latest announcement from the Mexican AG on the confessions as to the murders and the burning of the bodies of the students. I would also like to point out that in early October, just a few days after the students disappeared, Borderland Beat reported on OCTOBER 5 in a translation of an article from La Jornada that the normalistas had been killed and their bodies burned with diesel fuel. I posted this piece to Frontera List on October 7. This is essentially what the AG reported to the world yesterday. News that has been known for more than a month… molly
- First, there are several pieces covering a news conference headed by Jesus Murillo Karam where the PGR presented a statement that the missing students were taken to an area between Iguana and Cocula and executed and incinerated for up to 15 hours before remains were thrown into a river. Murillo reports that the capture of 3 narcos (Guerrero Unidos) led to confessions pointing to this spot, and in the absence of forensic evidence the PGR has accepted this testimony as sufficient proof. The evidence presented (video confessions, pictures) supports this version (narrative) of the days beginning September 26 through the 28th. It points a finger squarely at “narcos” and lays most of the blame there.
- Murillo Karan also uttered a phrase “Soy cansado” which has been appropriated by protestors and used as the latest hashtag to point out how the government is doing its best to avoid responsibility for any of the events in Guerrero – #YaSoyCansado and #YaEstamosCansado have become the latest protest phrase pointing to disgust with the government.
- International groups, especially Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have quickly pointed out that “the government of Peña Nieto” has not admitted that it played an active role- and continues to look for a line of explanation that points to narcos.
- The parents of the Normalistas have flatly rejected the evidence presented by Murillo Karam. A couple of reports describe their reaction (and I also included the Alma Guillermoprieto essay from NY Review of Books). These parents will not allow the PGR and the government to walk away from this mess untouched. Their persistence is amazing, and it is the “glue” holding together the diverse protest movements together. One of the strongest arguments that the parents have made is that Enrique Peña Nieto has put together a hasty narrative so that he can hop in his new presidential airplane and go off to a trade mission in China and Australia.
- I did not include a specific article from Padre Solalinde, but he has also called out the Catholic Hierarchy and said that they need to do more than pray.
- One of the articles I included is a column from Raymundo Riva Palacio pointing out that the criminal charges brought against ex-mayor Abarca and his wife are likely to fail. He makes an interesting point that the PGR is following the same strategy (and making the same mistakes) as they did in the Ruiz Massieu – Raul Salinas case from 2 decades ago.
- Some of the reports in this attachment include “online comments” and observations. The social media world has literally exploded with comments and observations – most of them angry. The anger is literally white-hot. I encourage everyone to go online and pay attention to this anger. It’s also clear that there is an organized attempt to “reconstruct” the narrative in cyberspace: there are comments (repetitive) and signed with strangely patriotic names arguing that the State cannot be blamed and that these killings and disappearances are simply the acts of evil men and narcos. Those “apologias” are always dismissed and shouted down (…especially on Twitter).
Proceso has been one of the leading sources and most detailed in its coverage, and its journalists are regular tweeters. Carmen Aristegui has also been a good source of information.