• Glenn Wilson
    91
    By scortez.

    A recently leaked witness testimony directly implicates the military’s involvement in the disappearances of 43 students in the Ayotzinapa case. It is the most recent development to come in the long pursuit of justice for the victims’ families. In 2014, a group of over 100 students from Escuela Normal Rural Raúl Isidro Burgos were traveling to Iguala, Guerrero to protest discriminatory practices against teachers. In a coordinated effort, police intercepted three of the buses heading back to Ayotzinapa on a northbound route and another heading southbound. Once they were pulled over, they were then teargassed, fired on, and loaded into seven patrol cars. Soon after, their families raised national alarms that led to a flurry of investigations to hold those accountable for their disappearance.

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    Rapid Arrests in a Discredited Investigation
    The initial investigation led to the removal and arrest of the mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca Velásquez, and his wife, María de los Ángeles Piñeda Villa, for sanctioning the disappearances. The same investigations resulted in the arrest of numerous local police officers that were involved. According to the BBC, the investigation concluded that the police apprehended the students and handed them over to a drug cartel known as Guerreros Unidos (GU). The cartel took the students to the local dump where they were killed and disposed of into a nearby stream. Despite making several low-level arrests, the findings of the previous investigations have been widely discredited by independent investigators. The lack of sufficient explanation has caused the victims’ relatives and demonstrators to put pressure on the federal government to expand their investigations into the military’s potential involvement. This mounting pressure from a broad coalition of civil society organizations successfully pressured the current government to open a new round of investigations.

    New Testimony Reveals Multi-level Corruption
    The results of the initial investigation exposed corruption across multiple institutions, implicating local officials, police, and now, members of the military in the disappearance of the 43 students. In November 2020, Army Captain José Martinez Crespo became the first high-ranking military personnel to be arrested on charges related to the disappearances of the students. He was a military commander at the 27th Army Battalion base when the disappearances occurred. In a recent report from Reforma, a witness testified that the Mexican military handed off the students to GU. The case is part of a larger investigation by Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero into the disappearances. The involvement of military personnel had been speculated, but this latest development confirms these suspicions. ...

    Continue at Justice in Mexico: Witness Links the Military to the 43 Missing Ayotzinapa Students. More #JusticeInMexico.

    Justice in Mexico works to improve citizen security, strengthen the rule of law, and protect human rights in Mexico. We generate cutting edge research, promote informed dialogue, and work to find solutions to address these enormously complex issues. As a U.S.-based initiative, our program partners with key stakeholders, experts, and decision makers, lending international support to help analyze the challenges at hand, build consensus about how to resolve them, and foster policies and programs that can bring about change.About Justice in Mexico

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