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Mexico: Arrest warrants issued against 64 military and police officers

Justice in Mexico yesterday requested the arrest of 20 army officers and 44 police officers, who are believed to be involved in the disappearance of 43 students in 2014 in Ayotchinapa, the prosecution announced.

These 64 police and military officers are wanted for “organized crime, enforced disappearances, torture, murder and offenses against justice,” the prosecutor’s office said.

Their identities and rank have not been released.

At the same time, the prosecutor’s office issued arrest warrants for 14 members of the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel.

A few hours earlier, the former Minister of Justice of Mexico, Jesus Murillo Karam, was arrested for the same case.

Murillo Karam served as Minister of Justice from 2012 to 2015 during the presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto. During that time he oversaw the investigation into the disappearance of 43 students from the Ayotchinapa teacher training school in the southwestern state of Guerrero. Murillo Karam was also an important figure in the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which was in power in Mexico for 71 years, until 2000.

He is the highest-ranking official arrested so far in the investigation into the disappearance of the 43 students, which began anew in 2019 after Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was elected president of Mexico.

These developments come after the publication on Thursday of an official report, which described the case as a “state crime”.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who established the “Truth Commission for Ayotchinapa” with the aim of shedding light on the case, yesterday called for “punishment of those responsible”, soldiers and police, involved in the disappearance of the 43 students.

According to the head of the Commission for the Truth about Ayotchinapa, Undersecretary of the Interior Alejandro Encinas, these police and military officers “through their actions, their omissions or their participation allowed the disappearance and execution of the students as well as the murders of others six people” from the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel.

“Publicizing this horrible and inhumane situation and at the same time punishing those responsible allows these shameful events not to be repeated” and “strengthens the institutions,” López Obrador said.

“What weakens an institution is that it does not act on the basis of the truth and that there is corruption, impunity,” he added.

At the same time, López Obrador emphasized that he will continue to ask Israel to extradite the former head of the criminal investigation service, Thomas Ceron.

Sharon, who is accused of being involved in the Ayotchinapa affair, although he himself insists on his innocence, has fled to Israel where he has applied for asylum.

Already at the end of March, López Obrador had revealed that Navy officers were being investigated, who were suspected of tampering with evidence. However, he had denied that the Mexican authorities were withholding important information about the case.

On the night of September 26-27, 2014, a group of students from the teacher’s school in Ayutthaya went to the nearby city of Iguala (Guerrero state, south) with the intention of “demanding” buses to go to the capital, where they wanted to participate in a demonstration.

According to the initial investigation conducted by Murillo Karam, the 43 youths were arrested by police officers working with the Guerreros Unidos (“United Warriors”) drug cartel, then shot and their bodies burned because they thought they were members of a rival gang. gang.

Families of the victims as well as independent experts reject this version, which does not attribute any responsibility to the military.

Almost eight years later, the remains of three of the victims have been identified.

Another commission, the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts, set up after an agreement between the Peña Nieto government and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, argued that the military falsified evidence they found at the dump where the students’ bodies were burned.

Source: AMPE

Source: Capital

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