May 27th, 2016 LASA
"Mexico After Ayotzinapa: A Conversation with the International Investigatory Group"
The disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa, Mexico in September 2014 grabbed worldwide attention. During its 2016 Congress in New York at the end of May, the Latin American Studies Association held a special presidential session featuring three members of the Inter-disciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI, for its acronym in Spanish), appointed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to investigate the Ayotzinapa case. Chaired by University of Arizona Latin American Studies faculty member Elizabeth Oglesby, the panel included opening remarks by Kate Doyle, Senior Analyst at the National Security Archive, and discussion with GIEI members Carlos Martín Beristain, Francisco Cox and Claudia Paz y Paz Bailey. The fate of the 43 students remains unknown, but the GIEI's work, which concluded in April, lays bare the nature of impunity in Mexico and provides a roadmap for what can be done. The Ayotzinapa investigation is an important precedent for human rights struggles across Latin America.
For background on the GIEI and to download the results of its investigation: http://prensagieiayotzi.wix.com/giei-ayotzinapa. For a full transcript of the LASA session in English or Spanish, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit: Jo-Marie Burt. From left to right: Elizabeth Oglesby, Kate Doyle, Carlos Martín Beristain, Claudia Paz y Paz Bailey and Francisco Cox. New York, May 27, 2016.