HomeNewsBriefRare Public Apology Shines Light on Government Impunity in Mexico
BRIEF

Rare Public Apology Shines Light on Government Impunity in Mexico

AYOTZINAPA / 12 MAR 2019 BY CAMILO CARRANZA EN

The Mexican government recently issued a public apology to the families of five young people who were forcibly disappeared in January 2016 in Veracruz. The apology, rare in a country that has historically deviated blame for similar incidents, once again highlights the historical levels of impunity within central institutions.

In the public event, government officials recognized the failure and responsibility of the state in the handling of the disappearance of the five youths. Officials admitted that police officers kidnapped and then turned over the youths to members of the Jalisco Cartel New Generation (Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación – CJNG).

SEE ALSO: Paramilitary Group in Veracruz Police Carried Out Disappearances: Attorney General

Despite the apology, there is a hollow sentiment of accountability from the victims. In the three years that have passed since the incident occurred, investigations have led to the arrest of 21 suspects. However, not a single conviction has been seen and no senior Veracruz official has even been investigated.

Newly elected governor, Cuitláhuac García, has launched an emergency plan to decrease the number of disappeared and requested help from international organizations to find those missing. According to multiple NGOs, more than 5,000 people have disappeared in Veracruz over the past decade.

InSight Crime Analysis

In the past two decades, cartel violence has left more than 40,000 people missing, with approximately 26,000 unidentified corpses and over 1,100 mass graves. But impunity has reigned throughout the country and investigations have fallen short of bringing justice to the victims and their families.

There are strong similarities between this incident and the most famous such disappearance in recent years, that of 43 students from Ayotzinapa in 2014. The case, which has become a symbol of Mexico’s corruption and impunity, has yet to provide any convictions.

SEE ALSO: UN Points to Abuses, Cover Up in Mexico’s Ayotzinapa Investigation

Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has vowed to re-open the controversial investigation by implementing a truth and justice commission, something that was resisted by the previous administration. López Obrador's proposal aims to clarify this type of human rights crime in which former governments were involved.

Some see the unprecedented apology by government officials in Veracruz as a sign of a possible new era of accountability in Mexico. However, others remain skeptical of false promises and empty apologies. The families of the five youths disappeared are now asking for justice and for those responsible to be convicted for the crimes committed, something that has historically been challenging in Mexico.

The ALMO administration has the tough task to regain much needed public trust between central institutions and the Mexican population. In order to do so, cases such as this one need to result in convictions. If not, the recent apology will simply fall flat.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

MEXICO / 29 NOV 2010

Julian Leyzaola, Tijuana’s outgoing Secretary of Public Safety, has been dismissed of his duties as a result of human rights…

ELITES AND CRIME / 6 JUL 2021

A high court in Honduras has found one of the intellectual authors of the high-profile murder of renowned Indigenous activist…

BRAZIL / 9 JUN 2017

Hip hop culture has long been associated with gangs, violence and vandalism. But a wide range of…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.