Missing Mexican Student: Former AG Arrested

Mexican authorities have made the first high-level arrests in connection with the infamous 2014 disappearance of 43 students, accusing a former top prosecutor of one of the country’s worst human rights violations.

Former Attorney General Jesus Murillo was arrested at his Mexico City home on charges of enforced disappearance, torture, and obstruction of justice in the kidnapping and disappearance of a student teacher in the southwestern state of Guerrero.

Authorities said Murillo will be taken to the attorney general’s office and transferred to a prison in Mexico City.

The judge issued 83 more arrest orders against soldiers, police, Guerrero officials and gang members in connection with the case, according to the attorney general’s office.

During Murillo’s 2012-2015 term, under then-President Enrique Peña Nieto, he oversaw a highly critical investigation into the September 26, 2014 disappearance of a student from the Ayotsinapa Rural Teachers College. did.

Questions have plagued Mexico since the bodies of just three students were found and identified.

International experts have criticized the official investigation, which is riddled with errors and abuses, including the torture of witnesses.

Current President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in 2018 and vowed to clarify what happened.

The Lopez Obrador administration has been trying to arrest another former high-ranking official, Thomas Zellon, since 2020, and last year asked Israel to extradite him.

When asked about the government’s move to scrutinize past investigations, Murillo said he was delighted and open to being asked, local media reported in 2020.

The attorney general’s office said Murillo cooperated “without resistance.”

The arrest came a day after Mexico’s chief human rights officer, Alejandro Encinas, called it a “national crime” involving local, state and federal officials.

“What happened? The enforced disappearance of the boys that night by government officials and criminal gangs,” Encinas said at a press conference.

Encinas said the highest levels of Pena Nieto’s government orchestrated a cover-up that included altering crime scenes and hiding links between authorities and criminals.

Murillo took over the Ayotzinapa case in 2014, calling the government’s findings “historical truth.”

According to that version, a local drug gang mistook the students for members of a rival group and killed them, incinerated the bodies in a garbage dump, and threw the remains into a river.

An international panel of experts found holes in the explanation, and the United Nations condemned the arbitrary detention and torture under investigation.

“Historical truth” eventually became synonymous with the perception of corruption and impunity under Pena Nieto, fueling outrage over the lack of answers.

Murillo, a former congressman and governor of Hidalgo, resigned in 2015 after growing criticism of his handling of the case.

Missing Mexican Student: Former AG Arrested

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