Truth commission says Ayotzinapa was a “crime of the state”
Last Thursday, a Mexican government truth commission published its preliminary findings on the Ayotzinapa case, issuing a groundbreaking admission of state culpability. In 2014, 43 students from Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers' College were disappeared while en route to a demonstration in Mexico City about the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre. Only 3 students’ remains were ever identified, and the Enrique Peña Nieto administration’s handling of the case was seen by many as a cover-up of the events and potential state responsibility. AMLO had made uncovering the truth behind the case a campaign promise and created the truth commission shortly after assuming office.
The truth commission found that federal, state, and municipal authorities were culpable, noting “Their actions, omissions and participation allowed for the disappearance and execution of the students, as well as the murder of six other people.” It is known that both municipal police officers in the town of Iguala, Guerrero and other gunmen from the local drug cartel the Guerreros Unidos shot and disappeared the students, but little is known about the actual details of what transpired. The cover-up of the case reportedly “extended to some of the highest national offices,” according to the truth commission. The New York Times also reports that the commission “confirmed that a military informant had been embedded among the students when they disappeared, meaning that the authorities were tracking their movements long before the attack took place, something that was previously reported by the local news media. That raises the possibility that the military knew at the time that something horrific had happened.”
Original state narratives surrounding the case placed the blame for the massacre and disappearances on local gangs. Former attorney general Jesús Murillo Karam, who presided over the original investigation of the case, was arrested on Friday. Arrest warrants have been issued for 83 total individuals allegedly involved in the case, including “20 military commanders and troop personnel from battalions 27 and 41 in the city of Iguala.” Findings from the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts released in March 2022 had previously indicated the active role of the armed forces in the case, with last week’s report further highlighting their contribution. (The New York Times, Milenio, CNN, WOLA)
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