Mexican authorities have issued dozens of arrest warrants for police and soldiers they believe were involved in the still-unsolved disappearance of 43 college students six years ago.
On 26 September 2014, students training to be teachers at a college in the southern state of Guerrero were allegedly kidnapped and turned over to a local gang.
Four months later, an investigation found the students had been burned in a huge fire at a garbage dump, with some remains thrown into a river.
Image: Families attend a protest near the attorney general’s office
But many of the families did not believed the story and experts found holes in it, noting it failed to come up with any definitive account of what happened.
On Saturday, lead investigator Omar Gomez told reporters that warrants had been issued for the “material and intellectual authors” of the crime, including military members as well as federal and municipal police.
It marks the first time Mexican authorities have announced arrest warrants for military personnel in connection with the disappearance of the students.
The remains of only two of them have been found.
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Many of the suspects initially arrested in the case were later released, and many claimed they had been tortured by police or the military.
In March, a judge issued an arrest warrant for Tomas Zeron, the former head of investigations for Mexico’s attorney general’s office, for alleged violations in the investigation of the case.
Zeron – who was at the centre of the earlier investigation – and five other former officials face charges including torture, forced disappearance and judicial misconduct.
Image: The warrants were issued during a press conference in the Mexican capital
The unsolved disappearances have sparked outrage in the country over the years, with massive protests in 2014.
There has also been international condemnation of what is seen one of the darkest examples of the government’s longstanding difficulty preventing violence or convicting criminals.
Family members of the victims have long accused Mexican authorities, including the military, of complicity.
The mother of one of the students, Maria Martinez Zeferino, said at Saturday’s press conference in Mexico City that “the military participated”.
“There were videos of it,” she claimed.
Source : Sky News