Home WORLD AMERICA Disappearance of 43 students in Mexico: the former attorney general arrested

Disappearance of 43 students in Mexico: the former attorney general arrested


On Friday evening, ex-Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam was arrested at his home in Mexico City for enforced disappearance, torture and offenses against the administration of justiceand did not put up any resistance, the prosecution said in a statement.

Jesus Murillo.

Former Attorney General Jesus Murillo sits in a police cruiser after his arrest.

Photo: Reuters / LUIS CORTES

The prosecution later announced that arrest warrants had been issued against 20 army officials, 44 police officers and five civil servants for their alleged involvement in the case, which caused deep shock in Mexico and abroad.

These 64 police and military are wanted for organized crime, enforced disappearance, torture, homicide and offenses against the administration of justice, said the prosecution. The identity and rank of those sought have not been specified.

Mr. Murillo Karam, who had served under President Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018) and had led a controversial first investigation into these disappearances, is a former heavyweight of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which governed Mexico for 71 years without interruption until 2000.

He is the most important personality to be arrested so far in the context of these investigations, which had restarted from scratch after the coming to power in 2019 of left-wing president Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The prosecution has also issued arrest warrants against 14 members of the drug trafficking cartel Guerreros Unidos.

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They never came back

A man on a bicycle passes portraits of missing students in Mexico.

A person walks past a wall displaying photos of some of the 43 students who disappeared from the Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School.

Photo: Reuters/HENRY ROMERO

On the night of September 26-27, 2014, a group of students from the Ayotzinapa teacher training school in the southern state of Guerrero traveled to the nearby town of Iguala to requisition buses to go to Mexico City for a demonstration.

According to the investigation, 43 young people were arrested by local police in collusion with Guerreros Unidos, then shot and burned in a landfill for reasons that remain unclear. Only the remains of three of them could be identified.

State crime

On Thursday, an official report released by the Ayotzinapa Truth Commissionset up by Mr. Lopez Obrador, maintained that Mexican soldiers had a share of responsibility in this crime.

Their actions, omissions or participation enabled the disappearance and execution of the students, as well as the murder of six other peopleInterior Undersecretary Alejandro Encinas said during the public presentation of the report.

An institutional action was not accredited, but there were clear responsibilities of elements of the armed forces, he added, without specifying whether these elements were still active.

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Mr. Encinas repeatedly called the Ayotzinapa case a state crime.

The investigations follow one another

Another commission, the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), which was created under an agreement between the Peña Nieto government and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), maintains that soldiers falsified evidence found in the dump where the bodies were burned.

The first official investigation, directed by Mr. Murillo Karam and whose conclusions were rejected by the families of the victims and by independent experts, did not attribute any responsibility to the military. This version accused a cartel of drug traffickers of having had the students killed by taking them for members of a rival gang.

Publicizing this atrocious and inhuman situation, and at the same time punishing those responsible, helps prevent these deplorable events from happening again. and strengthens institutionssaid Mr. Lopez Obrador on Friday.

The Mexican president has also indicated that he will continue to urge Israel to obtain the extradition of Tomas Zeron, former head of the criminal investigation agency of the attorney general’s office.

Accused of being involved in the Ayotzinapa affair, but claiming his innocence, this former senior official fled to Israel, where he requested asylum.

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