Six of the 43 Mexican students who were forcibly disappeared in 2014 were kept alive in a warehouse for days and then turned in to a local army base commander who ordered their killing, a Mexican government official leading a truth commission said on Friday.
Interior Undersecretary Alejandro Encinas made the revelation during a lengthy defense of the commission’s report, which was first released a week ago. at that time, Despite declaring disappearance a “state crime”. And Encinas did not mention that he turned the six students over to Col. José Rodríguez Pérez, saying he watched this happen without the military intervening.
Encinas emphasized this on Friday The officials were keeping a close eye on the students He was abducted from the radical teachers’ college in Ayotzinapa that night by local police in the city of Iguala and left his campus. A soldier who infiltrated the school was among the kidnapped students, and Encinas asserted that the military did not follow its own protocols in trying to rescue him.
“There is also information confirmed with emergency 089 telephone calls where six of the 43 missing students were allegedly kept for several days and were alive in an old warehouse and from there they were transferred to the colonel,” Encinas said. “The six students were allegedly alive for four days after the events and were killed and disappeared on the orders of a colonel, allegedly Colonel José Rodríguez Perez.”
The Defense Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the allegations on Friday.
The Truth Commission report states that the Army recorded an anonymous distress call on September 30, 2014, four days after the abduction of the students. The caller said the students were being held in a large concrete warehouse in what was described as “Pueblo Viejo.” The caller described the location.
That entry was followed by several pages of redacted material, but that part of the report concluded as follows: “As seen, there was clear collusion between agents of the Mexican state with the criminal group. United Warriors who tolerated, allowed and participated in incidents of violence and student disappearances, as well as the government’s attempts to cover up the truth about the incidents.
Later, a summary of how the commission’s report differed from the findings of the original investigation, the colonel mentions.
“On September 30, the ‘Colonel’ mentioned that he would take care of cleaning everything up and that he had already taken responsibility for the six students who had survived,” the report said.
On September 26, 2014, The local police escorted the students off the bus He commanded at Iguala. Eight years later, the motive remains unclear. Although pieces of charred bones were matched to three students, their bodies were never found.
Families of the missing students have pressed the government for years to more thoroughly investigate the military’s involvement.
Last week, federal agents arrested Former Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam, who oversaw the original investigation. On Wednesday, a judge ordered him to stand trial for enforced disappearance, torture and official misconduct. Prosecutors have accused Murillo Karam of fabricating a false story about what happened to the students in order to speed up the case.
Officials also said last week that arrest warrants had been issued for 20 army soldiers and officers, five local officials, 33 local police officers and 11 state police officers, as well as 14 gang members. Neither the military nor prosecutors have said how many of those suspects are now in custody.
It was also not immediately clear if Rodriguez Perez was among those found.