March 24, 2023

six of them 43 college students missing They were allegedly held in a warehouse for several days in 2014 before being handed over to a local army commander, who ordered them to be killed, Mexican government officials leading the truth commission said Friday.

The unexpected comments by Deputy Interior Minister Alejandro Encinas are the first time an official has directly linked the military to one of Mexico’s worst human rights scandals, and he gave his comments to the committee a week ago. The report was lengthy defended, which didn’t make much of a splash.

Last week, Encinas made no mention of handing over the six students to Jose Rodri, despite declaring the kidnapping and disappearance a “state crime” and saying the military witnessed it without intervention Colonel Gus Perez.

On Friday, Encinas said authorities had been closely monitoring students from the radical teacher training college in Ayotzinapa from the time they left campus until they were kidnapped by local police in the town of Iguala that night. A soldier who infiltrated the school was one of the kidnapped students, and Encinas claimed the army did not follow its own protocol and tried to rescue him.

“There is also information confirming the emergency 089 call that 6 of the 43 missing students were allegedly held for several days, they are still alive, they call it the old warehouse and from there they were handed over to the colonel,” Encinas Say. “The six students were allegedly alive for up to four days after the incident and were killed and missing at the order of the colonel, then-Colonel Jose Rodriguez Perez.”

The Defense Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the allegations Friday.

The military’s role in the disappearance of students has long been a source of tension between families and the government. From the outset, there have been questions about the military’s knowledge of what happened and its possible involvement. For years, the students’ parents have asked for permission to search the military base in Iguala. They did not gain access with Encinas and the Truth Commission until 2019.

Mexico arrests former top prosecutor in missing student case in 2014
A man rides over a wall after former attorney general Jesus Murillo was arrested on charges of enforced disappearance, torture and obstruction of justice in the 2014 disappearance of 43 students, some of them from Ayotzinapa The Rural Teachers College is missing on August 19, 2022 on Reforma Avenue in Mexico City, Mexico.

Henry Romero/Reuters

The Commission reported that the army registered an anonymous emergency call on 30 September 2014, four days after the student was kidnapped. The caller reportedly said the students were being held in a large concrete warehouse at a site known as “Pueblo Viejo.” The caller goes on to describe the location.

The entry was followed by several pages of redacted material, but this section of the report summed up as follows: “It can be seen that there is a clear collusion between the Mexican state agents and the criminal group Guerreros Unidos who tolerated, allowed and participated in. Violence and disappearance of students incident, and the government’s attempt to conceal the truth of the incident.”

Later, in a summary of how the committee’s report differed from the initial findings, a colonel was mentioned.

“On September 30, the ‘Colonel’ mentioned that they would be in charge of cleaning everything up, and that they had taken care of the six surviving students,” the report said.

In a witness statement provided to federal investigators in December 2014, Capt. Jose Martínez Crespo, stationed at the Iguala base, said the base commander of the 27th Infantry Battalion at the time was Jose Rodri. Colonel Gus Perez.

On September 26, 2014, local police removed students from a bus they had seized in Iguala. Eight years later, the motive for the police action remains unclear. Their bodies have never been found, but charred bone fragments have been matched to three of the students.

Federal agents were arrested last week former justice minister jesus murillo calam, who oversaw the initial investigation. On Wednesday, a judge ordered him to stand trial for enforced disappearance without reporting torture and official misconduct. Prosecutors allege that Murillo Callam fabricated a false account of what happened to the students to quickly resolve the case.

Authorities also said last week that arrest warrants had been issued for 20 soldiers and officers, five local officials, 33 local and 11 state police and 14 gang members. Neither the military nor prosecutors said how many suspects were in custody.

It was unclear whether Rodriguez Perez was among those sought.

President Andres Manuel López Obrador entrusted the Mexican military with enormous responsibilities. The armed forces were not only at the heart of his security strategy, but also took over the management of the seaport and were responsible for the construction of a new airport for the capital and tourist trains on the Yucatan peninsula.

The president has often said that the Army and Navy are the least corrupt institutions, and he is confident.

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