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Mexico arrests ex-attorney over disappearance of 43 students

#Mexico #arrests #exattorney #disappearance #students

Mexico on Friday arrested a former attorney general who led a controversial investigation into the disappearance of 43 students in 2014 – one of the country’s worst human rights tragedies.

Jesus Murillo Karam is the senior official arrested in connection with the case, which shocked the nation and drew international condemnation.

He is credited with being the architect of the so-called “historical truth” version of events presented by the government of then-President Enrique Pena Nieto in 2015, which was widely rejected, including by relatives.

Murillo Karam, a former heavyweight of the once-dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), has been arrested for the crimes of enforced disappearance, torture and perversion of justice, the Attorney General’s Office said.

The apprentices had seized buses in the southern state of Guerrero to go to a demonstration in Mexico City before disappearing.

Investigators say they were arrested by corrupt police and handed over to a drug cartel who mistook them for members of a rival gang, but what exactly happened to them is hotly disputed.

According to the official report submitted in 2015, cartel members killed the students and cremated their remains at a dump.

These conclusions have been rejected by independent experts and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as by the families.

– “Crimes of the State” –

On Thursday, a truth commission investigating the atrocities branded the case a “state crime” involving agents from various institutions.

It stated that military personnel bore at least partial responsibility, either directly or through negligence.

“Their actions, omissions or participation made possible the disappearance and execution of the students and the murder of six others,” said the head of the commission, Deputy Interior Minister Alejandro Encinas.

Further investigations are needed to determine the extent of the involvement of members of the armed forces, he said.

“An action of an institutional nature was not demonstrated, but there was a clear responsibility of members” of the armed forces, Encinas added.

“Historical truth” held no responsibility for military personnel.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday all soldiers and officials involved in the disappearance must be brought to justice.

“The publication of this cruel, inhumane situation and at the same time punishing those responsible will help ensure that these unfortunate events will never be repeated” and “strengthen the institutions,” said Lopez Obrador.

“We’ve said from the start that no matter how painful it is, we’re going to tell the truth,” he told reporters during a visit to the northwest border city of Tijuana.

Lopez Obrador said in March that Navy officials were under investigation for alleged tampering with evidence, specifically at a dump where human remains were found, including those of the only three students identified so far.

He dismissed independent experts’ accusations that Mexican authorities had withheld important information about the case.

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#Mexico #arrests #exattorney #disappearance #students

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