Peña Nieto defends "historical truth," despite lack of evidence (Aug. 31, 2018)
Mexico's outgoing president, Enrique Peña Nieto, publicly defended the government version of how the 43 Ayotzinapa students disappeared in 2014. There is clear evidence a criminal gang incinerated their bodies in a garbage dump, he said in a video promoting his administration's successes.
The thing is, that version of events is hotly contested by the families of the students, national and international human rights groups, including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights independent group of experts that reviewed the case. They determined the government investigation was rife with violations, including torture and botched evidence.
The group concluded it wasn't possible to incinerate 43 bodies in accordance with the government's hypothesis. And the Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez notes that no evidence has been presented in court in support of the Cocula dump theory. (Animal Político) The Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF) said that 18 months of investigation yielded no evidence in support of the government theory, called the "historical truth."
Amnesty International criticized the message as another example of the political decision of Peña Nieto’s government to dedicate all available resources to hiding the facts rather than to guaranteeing truth, justice and reparation for the victims and their families."
The messaging this week confirmed Peña Nieto's distance from the Ayotzinapa case, emblematic of the country's massive enforced disappearances problem, according to El País. Peña Nieto never went to visit the families of the students who disappeared in Iguala, and now he leaves office chiding them for disbelieving the "historical truth" version of events.
More on Ayotzinapa
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A number of Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales' international flights have no recorded payment. A Nómada investigation into a trip he made last year to New York, to lobby agains the CICIG at the U.N., found no use of public funds or army resources to travel. And an investigation in May found Morales travelled to Israel on the private plane of Israeli-American Sheldon Adelson. (InSight Crime has the English translation.)
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Argentina is stumbling its way to a new financial crisis -- yesterday the Central Bank hiked inerest rates to 60 percent in an attempt to stop the peso's free fall. (Guardian) But the local causes of instability are more political than economic, argues Sergio Berensztein in La Nación. (See yesterday's briefs.)
The U.S. Trump administration is expected to name a Cuba hardliner as the new senior director of the National Security Council’s Western Hemisphere Affairs, reports the Miami Herald.
Condoms are cheap in Cuba, part of a government focus on family planning and sexual health. But ingenuous Cubans have found a variety of other uses for rubbers, reports the Economist.
U.S. jail sentences for corrupt LatAm Fifa officials probably won't rid the institution of corruption, argues InSight Crime.
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