Social Issues

Judge orders imprisonment of 8 soldiers in connection with Mexico’s Ayotzinapa case

Mexico City, June 26 (EFE).- A federal court in Toluca in the central State of Mexico on Monday ordered the formal imprisonment of eight soldiers in connection with the disappearance of 43 students in 2014, Mexico’s undersecretary for human rights, population and migration, Alejandro Encinas, announced.

Federal Judge Raquel Duarte issued the prison order for the eight soldiers who turned themselves in a week ago to face charges implicating them in the forced disappearance of 43 students from a teacher training college in Ayotzinapa in September 2014.

The judge ruled that the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) presented “sufficient evidence” to begin proceedings against them.

The eight soldiers will remain in the military prison of Military Camp 1 in Mexico City for the duration of the trial.

On June 13, the judge ordered the arrest of 16 soldiers, out of whom eight turned themselves in.

The arrest warrant for the members of the Mexican armed forces came exactly eight years and nine months after the disappearance of the 43 students of Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School on the night of Sep. 26 and 27 in 2014.

General José Rodríguez Pérez, Captain José Martínez Crespo, Second Lieutenant Fabián Alejandro Pirita Ochoa and Sergeant Eduardo Mota Esquivel have been in a military prison accused of the same crime since September last year.

On that day, relatives of the missing students and activists marched in Mexico City against the mass disappearance.

Hours before the march, Encinas said that Mexican authorities had arrested Gualberto Ramírez Gutiérrez, former anti-kidnapping chief of the PGR, in connection with the case on charges of the forced disappearance of persons, torture and coalition of public servants.

As head of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the Assistant Attorney General’s Office for Special Investigations on Organized Crime (Seido), Ramírez Gutiérrez participated in the investigation into the students’ disappearance as well as in several probes into organized crime.

The official investigation of the government of former President Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018) claimed as “historical truth” that the students were detained by police of the municipality of Iguala, in the southern Guerrero state, and handed them over to criminal gang members who killed them and burned their bodies in a garbage dump.

However, an Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts established by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) reviewed the case and shot down the official version while also denouncing the use of torture in investigations into the case. EFE


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