Connect with us


They vanished nearly eight years ago. Will Mexico bring their attackers to justice?



By David Culver, David von Blohn, Karol Suarez and Elizabeth Joseph, CNN

Grieving parents marched in the streets of Mexico City last week, in their first protest since the release o a shocking Mexican government report that blamed the country’s military and police for the disappearance of 43 students, nearly eight years ago.

Carrying posters with photos of their sons and calling for justice, relatives of the missing told CNN they hoped the report might finally result in criminal punishments for those responsible.

The renewed calls for justice come after a government truth commission presented its bombshell report on August 18, which concluded that the students who vanished were victims of “state sponsored crime.”

Finding the truth about what happened to the 43 students was one of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s 100 campaign promises during the presidential election in July 2018. The renewed inquiry under his presidency linked federal, state and local authorities — many of them unnamed — to “…the disappearance and execution of the students.”

It also said that an order had been given to carry out the 2014 atrocity, but the report stopped short of naming who gave the order.

On September 26, 2014, the college-aged students were en route to Mexico City, commemorating the anniversary of the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre, where government forces killed as many as 300 student demonstrators.

While traveling through the southwestern city of Iguala, the Ayotzinapa students were intercepted by local police and federal military forces. Exactly what happened after remains unknown, since most of the missing students were never found. But bullet-riddled buses were later seen in the city’s streets with shattered windows and blood. Survivors from the original group of 100 said their buses had also been stopped by armed police officers and soldiers who suddenly opened fire.

No one has ever been convicted in relation to the students’ disappearance. But the new report so far has led to more than 80 arrest warrants being issued against members of Mexico’s military, police and cartels.

Mexico’s former attorney general Jesús Murillo Karam — the very man who previously led the government’s investigation into the disappearance — is among the arrested on allegations including forced disappearance and torture.

Murillo Karam’s defense argued the crimes attributed to his client were not supported since they were backed by statements and press conferences given at the time by the former attorney on the case and were “taken out of context.”

Still, some parents of the missing refuse to believe their children are dead, citing a lack of concrete evidence.

“[The officials] don’t say anything,” Don Margarito Guerrero said. “That’s why we need to continue fighting. We will not back down until we know something.” His 21-year-old son, Jhosivani Guerrero, along with two of his nephews are among the 43 disappeared. Guerrero says his son, the youngest of his children, worked hard selling water to help earn money and enjoyed studying.

Earlier this month, Mexico’s top human rights official Alejandro Encinas revealed that six of the students were “allegedly held alive for several days in what they call ‘La Bodega Vieja’ and from there were turned over to [a military] colonel….”

Encinas said that, according to the report, the Army officer gave the order to execute the students held captive in the warehouse.

“It is presumed that six of the students remained alive for four days after the events and that they were killed and disappeared…,” he added.

But parents like Maximino Hernandez Cruz, who grasps for the rapidly fading memories of his 19-year-old son Carlos, want justice.

After eight years his emotions are subdued; his tears have nearly run dry, leaving behind a near permanent fatigue in his eyes.

“We want those responsible to be punished…. They need to pay for what they did to our children,” Hernandez Cruz said. “We are suffering. We are dead inside.”

A sacred place

Before traveling into Mexico City for their monthly protests, the parents of the 43 disappeared first meet in the small farming town of Ayotzinapa. They gather at the school where their sons lived, worked and studied. Photos and murals, reminders of “the 43”, surround the sprawling rural campus.

“It reminds you that they were also part of Ayotzinapa,” a current student, who wished only to be identified as “Cesar”, told us as he shared how the disappearance of the 43 has impacted fellow students and teachers. “They were our classmates, and even though they’re the ones who disappeared, we know that it could happen to any one of us.”

Under the shelter of a thin metal roof and exposed walls, placed on what was once a basketball court, are 43 empty classroom chairs with photos of the disappeared taped to each one. Cesar calls it a “sacred space”, one in which the current Ayotzinapa students respect by not playing sports or loud music nearby.

Escuela Normal Rural of Ayotzinapa is among Mexico’s so-called teacher’s colleges. The school serves to educate mostly impoverished, rural, indigenous communities. It grants university-aged students opportunities, from learning academics to life skills, like farming.

“As farmers, we don’t have a lot of resources,” Maximino Hernandez Cruz said. He said he had been grateful to receive a free education for his son, coupled with room and board.

“We didn’t have enough money to send him to a private school. That’s why he attended Escuela Normal Rural. They gave the students shelter, food, everything they wanted,” Hernandez Cruz said.

The school is also known to inspire activism, encouraging students to question the status quo and hold those in power accountable.

“We really need to raise our voices so that the people listen to us, listen to our demands, our needs, because as students if we don’t raise our voices, they don’t truly pay attention to us,” one of the students said, who asked to be identified under a pseudonym, “Alexander Mora”.

The 20-year-old described the importance of the school’s reach into underserved communities, like those in the Mexican state of Guerrero.

“We have to foster people of all backgrounds to be represented so that they can help change society for a better future…,” Mora said.

Infiltrated by ‘corruption and cartel violence’

The journey to Mexico City from Ayotzinapa is a roughly 5-hour drive through winding, mountainous roads through the Mexican state of Guerrero. Lush greenery masks what locals describe as a place infiltrated by corruption and cartel violence.

The US State Department warns American citizens against traveling to the state due to crime and kidnappings. “Armed groups operate independently of the government in many areas of Guerrero,” it says. “Members of these groups frequently maintain roadblocks and may use violence towards travellers.”

Loved ones of the missing 43, now dedicated to a life of activism, are unfazed when driving through the state as part of their now regular commute to the capital, where they collectively march for justice.

Each month, they board buses to Mexico City to protest — a route eerily similar to their sons’ unfinished journey in 2014.

“If we just let it go there won’t be justice,” Don Margarito Guerrero said. “… The same thing will happen again and again…. That’s why we’re fighting.”

They cannot travel far in Guerrero without spotting graffiti and photos that reference either “the 43” or the more than 100,000 people estimated to have disappeared in Mexico since the 1960’s.

Theirs is just a sample of the suffering spread across the country.

In Mexico, families of the disappeared have formed more than 130 “search collectives” to investigate disappearances on their own, according to Human Rights Watch.

And according to a 2022 report by the International Committee of the Red Cross, 40,000 relatives of people who have gone missing in Mexico over the years have taken part in training sessions in the search for their loved ones.

Still, there are moments in which Guerrero’s grief is clouded by a hopeful memory.

“I remember how he’d always show up somewhere, wearing his sweater over his shoulder,” Guerrero says with a worn smile. “Sometimes he tells me he’s coming, but when?”

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Marlon Sorto and Karina Maciel contributed to this report.

Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Man faces underage sex crime charges | News, Sports, Jobs




A Tyrone man facing dozens of charges involving child pornography and human trafficking has been denied bail.

Paul Robert Holpit, 24, was arraigned Wednesday morning before Magisterial District Judge Fred B. Miller on 15 felony charges each of photographing, filming, or depicting a sex act involving a child and of disseminating explicit sexual material to a minor; eight felony counts each of trafficking in individuals-recruit/entice/solicit, of corruption of minors, of unlawful contact with a minor-sexual offenses and of drug possession with intent to deliver; three felony counts of criminal solicitation; two felony counts each of trafficking in individuals for financial benefit, of child pornography and of criminal solitication-sexual exploitation of children; one felony count each of criminal soliticiation-involuntary deviate sexual intercourse of a person less than 16 years of age and of criminal solicitation-involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child; and 10 felony counts of criminal use of a communication facility.

He also faces two misdemeanor counts of corruption of minors and a misdemeanor count of indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old.

According to the court docket, Holpit was denied bail due to the threat to the community and safety of the victims, his flight risk and the nature of the charges.

Holpit was remanded to the Blair County Prison awaiting a Sept. 20 preliminary hearing in front of Miller.

Pot for sex alleged

The charges stem from an five-month investigation by the Tyrone Borough Police Department after a minor female told police that Holpit provided numerous minors with marijuana in exchange for sexual acts.

On the police department’s Facebook page, police said 11 minor victims were identified and forensic interviews were conducted. The victims ranged from 12 to 17 years old, police said.

On May 6, borough police executed a search warrant on Holpit’s West 14th Street home and seized three iPhones, a Playstation, two HP laptops, an iWatch, cable modem, related charging cords, 297 grams of marijuana, clear sandwich bags, a silver scale and a glass pipe with residue.

Officers also received permission from parents and guardians to review the contents of cellphones belonging to the minors, court documents state.

During subsequent interviews, police said the minors reported talking to Holpit on Snapchat and meeting him in person. Holpit allegedly sent nude photos of himself to one 15-year-old, who said he sent photos at least once a day starting in December 2021 and continued for about two months. He also offered her free marijuana, alcohol and money in exchange for a sex act, the teen told police.

A 17-year-old told police she received marijuana from Holpit for about two years. In October 2021, Holpit began asking the girl for nude photos and she provided him with pictures a couple of times in exchange for marijuana. At least once, Holpit requested sex and he would send random pictures and videos of his genitals, she said. He also talked about her 12-year-old sister, asking the girl to talk the youngster into having sex with him for money.

The 12-year-old said she began talking to Holpit through Snapchat and then he began asking for photos of her body. He offered money, marijuana and tobacco for the pictures, she told police. He continued to ask, even though she said no, she said, and he sent photos of his genitals. He allegedly offered her money for oral sex.

Another 15-year-old said Holpit added her to Snapchat when she was 12 or 13 years old and conversations became sexual in nature, with Holpit asking for sex and sex acts in exchange for marijuana. She bought marijuana from him, the teen told police, and received nude photos of him on multiple occasions.

The interviews with the teens continued into June and July, according to court documents, and police talked to a 17-year-old, who also said she communicated with Holpit via Snapchat. Holpit allegedly sent her photos multiple times that included his genitals. He also asked for sexual favors in exchange for marijuana. The teen told police she did buy marijuana from Holpit in the past.

A 16-year-old said she purchased marijuana from Holpit and he used Snapchat to set up the purchases. She told police she then blocked him because she knew he sent nude photos to minors and requested sexual favors.

Marijuana bought

Four other minors, ranging in age from 15 to 17, told police that Holpit was their marijuana dealer. They also reported using Snapchat and that Holpit sent nude photos, asked for sex, sex acts and nude photos in exchange for the drug and in one case, asked a girl to have sex with him and another male in exchange for marijuana.

One 17-year-old said she began purchasing marijuana from Holpit, but the exchanges turned sexual, with Holpit giving her marijuana for sex acts and nude photos. He also sent her nude photos of himself via Snapchat and she received images about three times a week from November 2021 until April of this year, when she contacted police. Police said a majority of the in-person contacts with Holpit occurred at a Tyrone Borough church. At least one incident occurred in the parking lot of Penn Highlands Tyrone Hospital, police stated.

All victims reported receiving unsolicited photos of Holpit’s genitals and the photos appeared to have been taken in his bedroom, according to court documents.

Images of girls found

A search of Holpit’s cellphone turned up photos of the girls as well as images of large amounts of marijuana and cash. In addition, police said several conversations indicated Holpit was dealing marijuana. Videos, including of a minor girl giving oral sex to a minor boy, were found on the phone.

Police said 20 images and/or videos depicting child pornography were found and that Holpit provided eight minors with photos of his genitals.

He also provided seven of the juveniles with marijuana and arranged drug sales or disseminated pornographic images to nine individuals, court documents state. Holpit would meet individuals at various spots in Tyrone Borough to make drug deliveries, police reported.

Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox

Source link

Continue Reading


After 6 years, Karnataka government orders abolition of ACB, revival of Lokayukta




The Karnataka government on Friday issued an order abolishing the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), saying all its cases will be transferred to the Lokayukta.

The government order said that as per the orders of the Karnataka High Court, the ACB will be abolished and police station powers reordered to Lokayukta police. All the cases which are pending/under inquiry/other disciplinary actions will be transferred to Lokayukta, it added.

In mid-August, a division bench of the Karnataka High Court had ordered the abolishing of ACB and revival of an anti-corruption police unit attached to the Karnataka Lokayukta, a quasi-judicial institution that works independent of the state.

The high court order quashed a notification issued by the then Congress government in the state on March 14, 2016, to create the ACB and also subsequent notifications transferring power to probe corruption cases under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, from Karnataka Lokayukta police to the ACB.

“All inquiries, investigations and other disciplinary proceedings pending before ACB will get transferred to the Lokayukta. However, all inquiries, investigations, disciplinary proceedings, orders of convictions/acquittals and all other proceedings held by ACB till today are hereby saved and the police wing of Karnataka Lokayukta shall proceed from the stage at which they are pending as on today, in accordance with law,” the bench said in its order.

Stating that it was “high time” the state government strengthened the institution of Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayukta and got back their “glory”, the court observed that the institution of Lokayukta has been reduced to being “paper tigers” by the March 14, 2016 executive order to transfer police powers to ACB.

The order for abolishing the ACB relates to cases filed in 2016 by the Advocates Association of Bengaluru, the Samaj Parivartana Samudaya, and advocate Chidananda Urs over Lokayukta powers being given to ACB.

The high court had stated that “there was no necessity for the state government to constitute ACB parallel to the institution of Lokayukta, that too when a person to be appointed as Lokayukta shall be a person who has held the office of a judge of Supreme Court, or that of the Chief Justice of a high court, or a person who has held the office of a judge of a high court for not less than ten years; and a person to be appointed a Upa-Lokayukta shall be a person who has held the office of a judge of a high court for not less than five years.”

The high court acknowledged that Lokayukta had become a powerful institution and was plagued by internal corruption but observed that the solution to the problem was in cleaning the institution and not withdrawing its powers to probe.

Source link

Continue Reading


Latest Updates: Deepak Mundi sent to 7-day police remand in Sidhu Moosewala case




THE TIMES OF INDIA | Sep 11, 2022, 10:55:02 IST

Daily City News Updates

Union home and cooperation minister Amit Shah will take part in a cooperative conference in Gujarat’s Amreli district on Sunday and unveil a 16-feet tall statue of Lord Hanuman in Somnath town. Stay with TOI for all the latest updates:Read Less

Source link

Continue Reading
Civil Rights Violations3 months ago

See No Evil (2022) ❤️Snatched on Camera❤️❤️ See No Evil July 02, 2022 FULL EPISODE

New York3 months ago

Sendomeng Remèt Lapolis Towo a- Bandi Izo 2 Gwo Zam Sou Lestomak – Yo pa Touyel – Demwazèl la Febli

Police Brutality3 months ago

#michael They Don't Care About Us😍❤

Civil Rights Violations3 months ago


Civil Rights Violations2 months ago

RAW CHASE VIDEO: Camaro vs Police After Game Stop Robbery in Houston

Military Corruption3 months ago

নারকেল ফাটানো কেলেঙ্কারি | Hasir Video | Bangla Cartoon | Pass Entertainment

Civil Rights Violations3 months ago

DON'T WATCH THIS 🙈 If You Believe the Market is Crashing! | GREY MARKET

New York3 months ago

🔴 Koudyè | EN DIRECT | 5 JUILLET 2022 – 3H

New York3 months ago

At US/Mexico Border With Texas Sheriff (exclusive access) 🇺🇸 🇲🇽

Military Corruption3 months ago


Police Bribery3 months ago


Military Corruption3 months ago


Military Corruption3 months ago


CopWatch2 months ago

Video: Someone Who Appears To Be That Gun-Waving Cop Says He’s “The Hero You Deserve”

Police Bribery3 months ago