SEDENA Fails To Comply with INAI Deadlines To Deliver Data on ‘’Death Flights’’: MEH

Image by SITU Research

The Mechanism for Truth and Historical Clarification (MEH) reported that the SEDENA has not complied with the delivery of information on the so-called “ death flights”, as ordered by the INAI in the review resources RRA 2789/24 and RRA 2751/24, which were to be fulfilled on April 22nd and 29th, respectively.

Mexico City, May 7th (Sin Embargo).- The Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA) failed to deliver documents on the so-called “flights of death”, and therefore disregarded the order of the National Institute of Transparency and Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI), as announced by the Mechanism for Truth and Historical Clarification (MEH).

“The military institution has not delivered either the complete file of the preliminary investigation or the lists of victims and people prosecuted, even though there are resolutions from the INAI,” the MEH highlighted in a statement, in which it explained that the deadlines for providing this information expired on April 22nd and 29th, respectively.

In the document, it was recalled that at the beginning of last April, the INAI resolved “two review appeals”, which the MEH promoted “with the effects of access to public information for the social construction of the truth, regarding serious violations of human rights. These are the review resources RRA 2789/24 and RRA 2751/24.”

The Mechanism detailed that in RRA 2789/24, the INAI instructed SEDENA to deliver a full copy of file SC/034/2000/IV/IE-BIS, which contains a preliminary investigation prepared 24 years ago by the Military Prosecutor’s Office. in relation to the “death flights”, a strategy under which they carried out executions of “members of various guerrilla organizations between 1973 and 1981.”

After carrying out the executions, the bulletin added, the bodies of the victims were “thrown out to sea from military planes manned by Mexican Army personnel on flights operated from Military Air Base #7, in Pie de la Cuesta, Guerrero.”

For this reason, the MEH requested a full copy of said file from SEDENA, a department that accepted and even agreed to provide the file, consisting of 8,704 pages, distributed in 13 volumes; However, it only provided a first part, consisting of 1,143 pages, and later argued that the rest of the documentation was declared confidential by the military court under its charge.

Given this situation, the Historical Clarification Mechanism filed a complaint with the INAI, who on April 3rd asked SEDENA to deliver the full copy of the file. The above should have been done no later than April 22nd, but the military institution has not complied to date.

Meanwhile, in resolution RRA 2751/24, SEDENA was urged to provide the list of “victims of the ‘death flights’, the list of responsible persons who were prosecuted for these events, the resolutions of the military justice authorities and the legal situation that each one of them maintains.”

This, under the premise that such information is of interest to Mexican society, since it has “the right to access information with the right to the truth in matters of serious violations of human rights,” based on the “criteria of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN), as well as the General Law of Victims.”

The INAI resolution took place on April 10th, after MEH requested the aforementioned information from SEDENA; but, in response, this agency assured that it “was non-existent.” For this reason, the Mechanism promoted a review appeal before the Transparency Institute, which set April 29th as a deadline for the military institution to deliver such documentation.

“We hope that SEDENA provides the requested information and fully complies with the resolutions of the INAI, which will be available on the website of the Historical Clarification Mechanism,” the organization concluded.

Mexico was a pioneer in the counterinsurgency practice of “death flights,” as the practice perpetrated during the 1970s by elements of the Army is known , under the orders and direct participation of Generals Acosta Chaparro and Quirós Hermosillo, which consisted in executions of political dissidents at the Pie de la Cuesta Military Air Base in Acapulco, Guerrero, whose bodies were thrown into the sea on night flights to disappear all traces.

These flights were reconstructed using 3D technology by the SITU Research organization of New York and the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center (Centro Prodh). Following the trail of Alicia de los Ríos Merino—a young militant who forcibly disappeared in 1978—the project shows the different phases of the practice, from the transfer of the victims to the Pie de la Cuesta Military Air Base to the flights.

Original article at Sin Embargo, May 7th, 2024.
Translated by Schools for Chiapas.
Image by SITU Research from same article.

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