Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) this week spent two days in Mexico City, Mexico meeting with the families of the 43 students that were forcibly disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero, in September 2014.
“This was both a humbling and heartening experience for me,” Congressman Lowenthal said. “The pain and anguish these families have endured is simply unimaginable. I was humbled by the strength they have shown throughout this tragedy and heartened by their perseverance to learn what happened to their children and their determination to never let them be forgotten."
Since their disappearance, the Congressman has been monitoring the case and the efforts to find the students and bring to justice those responsible for this crime. This included supporting the work of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights who provided technical assistance to Mexico’s government in the investigation of the case. He has also repeatedly urged officials in the U.S. State and Justice departments to cooperate with the Mexican government investigations.
During his meetings this week in Mexico City with the students’ families and their lawyers, Congressman Lowenthal heard personal accounts of the families’ histories and struggles, as well as their persistent fight to find their children. He also met with Mexican authorities to learn about the current status of the official investigations as well as the government´s effort to find the students.
The Congressman affirmed that he will keep advocating for this case until the families know the whereabouts of the students and justice is delivered.
“There is one question these families want, need, and deserve to have answered,” Congressman Lowenthal said. “Where are their children? It is a question that after nearly three years the Mexican government still needs to answer. It is critical that everything be done to ensure that we discover what happened to the 43 students and hold the perpetrators accountable.”
During his visit, Congressman Lowenthal also met with U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Roberta Jacobson, to discuss U.S. engagement with the Mexican government, and with human rights activists and experts in order to understand the broader human rights challenges in Mexico. His staff was also updated on the status of the investigation into the Tlatlaya massacre and the situation of surviving witness, Clara Gómez. Congressman Lowenthal was also briefed on the importance of the creation of an independent Prosecutor’s Office, police reform, and anti-corruption initiatives in Mexico.