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Abducted: 6 of 43 missing Mexican students were given to soldiers and executed

The revelation comes from the Mexican Truth Commission after the arrest of the country’s former Attorney General who is now being charged with having involvement in the case

People demonstrate on Sept. 26, 2020 in Mexico City to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa students
Personas se manifiestan el 26 de septiembre de 2020 en la Ciudad de México para conmemorar el sexto aniversario de la desaparición de 43 estudiantes de Ayotzinapa | Shutterstock

August 29, 2022 8:51am

Updated: August 29, 2022 11:17am

Six of the 43 Mexican students who went missing in 2014, were reportedly abducted and kept in a warehouse for several days before they were handed over to a nearby military installation commander who ordered their execution, according to officials leading the country’s Truth Commission.

The revelations came shortly after the arrest of the country’s former Attorney General, Jesus Murillo Karam, who was charged earlier this month along with some members of law enforcement and the military with torture, forced disappearance and obstruction of justice.

The case has gained notoriety all throughout Latin America and in the United States as the students disappearance led to mass demonstrations throughout Mexico. The missing children were on their way to a demonstration in the Mexico City when they suddenly disappeared in the city of Iguala. Bone fragments and other evidence recovered by authorities have helped them gradually track what may have happened to the missing students and new details continue to emerge.

The most recent revelations, recently came from Interior Undersecretary Alejandro Encinas several days after the release of a report authored by the country’s Truth Commission, which coincided with the attorney general’s arrest.

On Friday, Encinas revealed that authorities had been watching the students from the time they left their campus at Ayotzinapa through their kidnapping in Iguala later that evening.

Among the shocking revelations was that one of the missing students was a Mexican soldier who had infiltrated the school, and the state apparatus of law enforcement and military did nothing to rescue him.

“There is also information corroborated with emergency 089 telephone calls where allegedly six of the 43 disappeared students were held during several days and alive in what they call the old warehouse and from there were turned over to the colonel,” Encinas said. “Allegedly the six students were alive for as many as four days after the events and were killed and disappeared on orders of the colonel, allegedly the then Col. José Rodríguez Pérez.”

From the time of the students’ disappearance, many have suspected the military’s involvement or knowledge on the issue stirring suspicion and sparking nationwide demonstrations demanding justice for the missing 43. Many of the parents of the missing students wanted to search a military installation in Iguala, but were not given access until 2019, five years after their children disappeared. That search was conducted with the Truth Commission and reports indicate Encinas was also there.

According to the commission report, the government registered an anonymous emergency call on Sept. 30,2014, just four days after the students disappeared. The caller reported that students were being held in a warehouse in an area described as “Pueblo Viejo.”

“As can be seen, obvious collusion existed between agents of the Mexican state with the criminal group Guerreros Unidos that tolerated, allowed and participated in events of violence and disappearance of the students, as well as the government’s attempt to hide the truth about the events,” the report concluded.

The report also references a shadowy figure referred to as “the colonel” who purportedly participated in the operation.

“On Sept. 30 ‘the colonel’ mentions that they will take care of cleaning everything up and that they had already taken charge of the six students who had remained alive,” the report said.

Reports indicate that one witness, Capt. José Martínez Crespo, who spoke to federal investigators gave a statement made references to a base commander for the 27th Infantry Battalion named Col. José Rodriguez Pérez.

It is unclear is Mexican officials are seeking the arrest of Rodriguez Pérez. They recently issued warrants for 33 local police officers, 11 state police officers, 20 military servicemembers, and 14 gang members.

Mexican authorities recently charged former Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam who was in charge of the initial investigation operating under the belief he intentionally misdirected investigators as part of a cover up. Last Wednesday, a judge ordered the former AG face charges for torture, forced disappearance, and official misconduct.

The students were allegedly deboarded from the buses on Sept. 26, 2014 in Iguala by local police. Many suspect the police turned the students over to a nearby criminal cartel who wrongly suspected the group were members of a rival syndicate.