Given to an army commander who ordered the killing of 6 of the 43 missing Mexican students

MEXICO CITY—Six of the 43 college students who “disappeared” in 2014 survived for days in a warehouse before being handed over to local army commanders and ordered to be killed, says Mexico’s truth commissioner. a senior government official said on Friday.

The Undersecretary of the Interior, Alejandro Encinas, was met with near fanfare as he made shocking revelations that directly linked the military to one of Mexico’s worst human rights scandals, and lengthy defense of the commission’s report released a week ago. There was no

Encinas was handed over to Col. No mention was made of one student.

On Friday, Encinas said authorities have been closely monitoring students at Ayotzinapa’s radical teacher’s college since he was abducted by local police in the town of Iguala and left campus. A soldier who broke into the school was among the abducted students.

“There is also information corroborated by emergency 089 calls that six of the 43 missing students were detained for several days, alive in what was called an old warehouse, from where they were handed over to the Colonel,” Encinas said. said. “Six students reportedly survived four days after the incident, but were killed and disappeared on the orders of a colonel, identified at the time as Colonel José Rodríguez Perez.”

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

missing mexican student
Bicycling past a memorial commemorating the 2014 disappearance of 43 students at Guerrero State University of Radical Teachers in Mexico City on August 20, 2022. (Marco Ugarte/AP Photo)

The military’s role in student disappearances has long been a source of tension between families and the government. From the outset, there were questions about the military’s knowledge of what happened and the possible involvement of the military. For years, the students’ parents have demanded that they be allowed to search the Iguala army base. It was in 2019 that they were granted access along with Encinas and the Truth Commission.

A commission report said the military registered an anonymous emergency call on September 30, 2014, four days after the student’s abduction. The caller reportedly said the students were being held in a large concrete warehouse in a location called “Pueblo Viejo.” The caller continued to describe the location.

That entry was followed by several pages of redacted material, but that section of the report concluded: These include student violence and disappearances, and attempts by the government to cover up the truth of the incident. ”

Later, summarizing how the Commission’s report differed from the conclusions of the original investigation, there is a mention of the Colonel.

“On September 30, the ‘Colonel’ said he was in charge of all the cleanup and had already taken care of the six surviving students,” the report said.

In a witness statement filed with federal investigators in December 2014, Capt. Jose Martinez Crespo, stationed at the base in Iguala, said the base commander of the 27th Infantry Battalion at the time was Colonel Jose Rodriguez Perez. I was.

In torrential rain late Friday, the families of 43 missing students marched in Mexico City with hundreds of others, as they have done every 26th of the month for years.

Family and friends searching for 43 missing Ayotsinapa students on August 26, 2022. (Marco Ugarte/AP/Photo)

Parents held posters with their children’s faces on them, and teachers’ college students marched in lines and cried for justice, counting to 43.

Clemente Rodriguez marched for his son Christian Alfonso Rodriguez Terumbre. He was his second pupil identified by a small piece of burnt bone.

Rodriguez said the family was briefed last week before the report about the colonel and the six students was released.

“No more cutting corners. I mean they got involved,” he said of the military.

He said his family had not been informed that an arrest order for members of the military announced last week had yet to be carried out.

On September 26, 2014, local police removed students from an occupied bus in Iguala. Eight years later, the motives for the police’s actions remain unclear. Their bodies have never been found, but burnt bone fragments match those of three of his students.

Last week, federal agents arrested former Attorney General Jesus Murillo Callum, who oversaw the initial investigation. On Wednesday, a judge ordered the trial for enforced disappearance not to report torture or official misconduct. It claims to have created

Authorities said last week arrest warrants were issued for 20 soldiers and officers, five local civil servants, 33 local police officers, 11 state police officers and 14 gang members. Neither the military nor prosecutors have disclosed how many of these suspects are in custody.

It was also not immediately clear if Rodriguez Perez was wanted.

Rodriguez, the student’s father, said Murillo Karam’s arrest was a positive step.

Murillo Calam was “the one who told us not to touch the soldiers,” Rodriguez said. “And now it turns out that it was the country that took part.”

In a joint statement, the family said the Truth Commission’s confirmation that this was a “national crime” was significant after years of elements suggesting it.

However, they said the report still did not adequately answer their most important questions.

“Mothers and fathers need indisputable scientific evidence about the fate of their children,” the statement said. You can’t go home with preliminary signs.”

Associated Press