Mexico issued 25 warrants for individuals allegedly involved in the abduction of 43 students in southern Mexico in 2014, including members of the military and federal police for the first time.
Omar Gomez Trejo, the prosecutor in charge of the case, announced the list of warrants during a press conference to mark the sixth anniversary of the students’ kidnapping.
The warrants have been issued for people who are allegedly “the material and intellectual perpetrators of the disappearance,” including current and former officials of the prosecutor’s office, organized crime, federal police and members of the military.
“Arrest orders have been issued for the soldiers who will be executed,” said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. “Those who have participated and have shown that they have done so will be judged, this is an advance, there will be no cover-ups”.
The prosecutor’s office did not clarify whether or not his former boss, Jesus Murillo Karam, was included on the list, a man who current Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero has accused of “orchestrating a huge media trick.”
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Students from Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College disappeared on September 26, 2014, in the state of Guerrero. The remains of only two students have so far been identified with certainty, Reuters reported.
Reports collected by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) indicate that the students had gathered in Iguala to commandeer more intercity buses to be used to travel to rallies and protests, Al Jazeera reported. After getting the buses, the students were stopped by multiple security forces along the way.
The alleged kidnapping took place near a large military base and independent investigations showed members of the military were aware of what was happening.
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The reason for the kidnapping remains a matter of debate, but Gertz Manero said Saturday that “the missing young people were victims who ended up in the midst of a battle of interests between the forces of drug trafficking.”
Gertz Manero added that “nearly 80 people have been massacred and hidden in Iguala by various criminal groups and their official accomplices”. He said he believes a “general cover-up” has been established.
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Student families have long demanded that soldiers be included in the investigation, but López Obrador’s intimacy with the military previously made it a difficult step to take.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.