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Meco tragedy: Parents consider appeal to European Court of Human Rights

They refuse to give up. News that investigation into the tragedy at Meco beach has been archived will not stop the families of the six students who died from demanding justice. They met with lawyer Vítor Ribeiro on Sunday and are forging ahead with a plan to annul the original investigation on the basis that it was incompetent.
Number one on their list is to get a new investigation opened – one that will not seek to “take the blame” from the only survivor of the tragedy, João Miguel Gouveia, and one that will not dismiss as lies the testimonies of locals who pointed to sinister rituals and enforced risk-taking.
It will be an uphill struggle, as the Public Ministry has stolidly stuck to the official line that the multiple drownings were accidental.
“Destiny,” it said, was the only reason for Gouveia’s lucky escape. Known as Dux, Gouveia was the leader of the group’s COPA – a kind of pranks’ organisation – and it is this that the parents think lay behind their children’s deaths.
As newspapers have constantly attested over the months, the parents believe their children died as a result of a prank that went horribly wrong. Dux has always denied this – and the Public Ministry has accepted his story, concluding “there are no indications whatsoever” to back up the parents’ complaints, or suspicions.
“It is an outrage,” António Soares told news media as the families heard the investigation had ended.
“We will not give up,” stressed lawyer Ribeiro, who met with parents on Sunday.
According to news reports, the parents are also considering an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights – but before that, they will be lodging a request to annul the investigation that has now been archived.
The tragedy at Meco – early last December – came during a winter marked by high tides and dangerous seas.