Daily World News Digest, 1 April 2015

Mexican Government must support work of international experts

The Latin American Tribune reported today that six months after 43 students were forcibly disappeared in southern Mexico a group of international human rights organizations have organized and signed a petition calling on the Mexican government to fully support the work of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights-appointed Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (Grupo Interdisciplinario de Expertos y Expertas Independientes, GIEI), which has been tasked with reviewing the case, and to fully implement its recommendations. On 19 March, the GIEI released a report on its first trip to Mexico (March 1-19). The Group’s initial requests to the Mexican authorities are that they continue the search for the missing students; that the case be treated as a case of enforced disappearance; that they ensure the preservation of evidence; that they provide medical attention to those affected by this crime, including the student’s families and Aldo Gutierrez, the student who remains in a coma as a result of injuries sustained during the September attack; and that they guarantee the Group’s access to all needed information including a digital copy of the case file, and an interview with military officials from the 27th Battalion of the Army (in Iguala, Guerrero). http://bit.ly/1HisBEL

Parents of missing Mexico youths ask help of gang boss

The Public Opinion news portal from South Dakota and Minnesota reports today that some parents of the 43 Mexican college students who disappeared six months ago have turned to the purported leader of a drug gang to ask for his help in learning more about what happened to their sons. Federal prosecutors have alleged that local police in Guerrero state turned the students over to a different drug gang, Guerreros Unidos, which killed the young men and burned their bodies. Relatives of the missing have rejected the government’s account of what happened in the city of Iguala. Several families hung two banners in Iguala on Tuesday asking for help from Santiago Mazari Hernandez, the alleged leader of the Reds gang, a rival of Guerreros Unidos. http://bit.ly/1xxECWD

Greek President meets families of the missing in Cyprus

The Greek Reporter carries a story today about newly-elected Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos’ visit to Cyprus. On the second day of his first official overseas visit since taking office on 13 March, Pavlopoulos met representatives of a number of civil organizations including the Committee of the Relatives of Missing Persons and the EOKA Historical Memory Council. Pavlopoulos was briefed on efforts to account for the roughly 2,000 persons still missing in Cyprus as a result of civil disturbance and conflict in the 1960s and 70s. http://bit.ly/1NBd593

Lost medieval cemetery found under Cambridge University

The Telegraph reports today that a lost medieval cemetery discovered under Cambridge University contained graves that had been pre-dug in anticipation of winter deaths, archaeologists have discovered. The huge graveyard was found during recent refurbishments. The mass cemetery, which was far larger than the small burial ground which archaeologists had expected, contained around 1,300 burials, including about 400 complete skeletons. And experts made the sinister discovery that many of the skeletons did not fit their graves. An Archaeological Journal report on the excavation said: “This suggests that some, but not all of the graves may have been dug in advance of being needed. “One possibility is that this occurred prior to the winter, when ground conditions would have potentially made digging graves considerably more difficult.” The vast majority of burials were without coffins, many even without shrouds, suggesting the cemetery was primarily used to serve the poor. http://bit.ly/1ahAXSW

Items in Daily World News Digest are summaries of published reports relevant to the issue of missing persons, compiled by ICMP staff.  These items do not necessarily reflect the position of ICMP.