Will Truth Commissions heal wounds?

AMLO anticipated the creation of Truth Commissions to guarantee the right to memory and truth for all the victims and their families, to deliver justice, and to end impunity

The incoming government will further investigate controversial cases where the military and police were involved- Photo: File Photo/EL GRÁFICO

10/09/2018 09:18

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Newspaper Leader




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In the last years, tragic events have taken place where members of municipal, state or federal police forces were involved. They carried out investigations to assign responsibilities and punish those who were guilty, but the investigations only contributed to creating doubts, instead of answering them.

The emblematic case of the forced disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa, that couldn't have taken place without the participation of, at least, local authorities. Nochixtlán is another case, where inhabitants and the federal police clashed; Tlatlaya is yet another case, where a clash between the military and alleged criminals took place; and the discovery of mass graves in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, with almost 200 bodies in it.

The inefficient or non-existent crime investigation, in combination with the elevated violence numbers, generate an increase in impunity levels, as it has been reported by several academic institutions. There has also been a loss of credibility from the population towards the institutions that deliver justice.

In which way could the Mexican judicial system gain back trust? How can the violence that has struck several regions in Mexico be reduced?

The government that will take office on December 1st has anticipated that it will encourage the creation of Truth Commissions, with the purpose of making them the first step to guaranteeing the right to memory and truth for all the victims and their families, to deliver justice, and end impunity.


The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has warned 4 key points should be kept in mind: truth, justice so there is no impunity, the re-apparition of victims, and the guarantee that it won't happen again.

It is a wise decision that the incoming government won't forget the cases that created doubts about the participation of the government and is even proposing to resume them, but the main challenge will be that these situations don't happen again, which will only be achieved when every police corporation is trained properly and their elements receive decent salaries, when the judges and other public servants' behavior is completely ethical and the punishment of any wrong-doing, and in the precise moment when governments from every level accept their commitment with truth, looking after the victim's interests.

The country has been hurt by the cases previously mentioned, and there are open wounds, that should perhaps begin to heal.

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