Thursday, June 13, 2024

Freed Ayotzinapa suspects linked to spike in Guerrero violence

Suspects arrested in connection with the 2014 disappearance of 43 students in Iguala, Guerrero, but released from preventative custody due to a lack of evidence or because they were tortured during the interrogation process could be responsible for a recent increase in the same municipality.

Without referring to them explicitly, state Public Security Secretary David Portillo Menchaca insinuated that former municipal police officers and suspected members of the Guerreros Unidos crime gang are the likely perpetrators of a wave of attacks in Iguala in recent weeks. One was against spectators at a bullfight in the community of Zacacoyuca on February 2 that left one person dead and two others wounded.

Twenty-one municipal police officers were released from prison in September and several presumed Guerreros Unidos members, including a man suspected of formerly being the gang’s Iguala operations chief, were released the same month.

According to the former federal government’s publicized version of events, referred to as the “historical truth,” the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College were killed by Guerreros Unidos members after they were handed over to them by corrupt municipal police on September 26, 2014.

Portillo told a press conference that there is reason to believe that “some people” who recently left prison are now seeking to reassert their influence over an area they once controlled.

“There are lines of investigation. Some of them point to … people who have left prison … who want to position themselves in Iguala,” he said.

Portillo added that it was possible that another criminal group – he didn’t say which – had moved into Iguala, triggering a violent response from the Guerreros Unidos.

“They are lines of investigation that are being followed up. We’re ready to carry out [security] operations, together with the National Guard and the Secretariat of National Defense [the army],” he said.

The release of the municipal police officers and the suspected members of the Guerreros Unidos gang was slammed by the federal government.

Human Rights Undersecretary Alejandro Encinas described the acquittal of the former as a sign of the “wretchedness and rot” of Mexico’s justice system.

After the release of Gildardo “El Gil” López Astudillo, who was allegedly the chief of operations of the Guerreros Unidos in Iguala at the time of the students’ disappearance, Encinas said that there would be a federal investigation into the judges responsible for his acquittal and that of other suspects in the Ayotzinapa case.

Federal authorities alleged that López sent a message to his superior, Sidronio “El Chino” Casarrubias Salgado, days after the young men went missing that read: “They’ll never find them, we turned them into dust and threw them into the water.”

The incriminating text is congruent with the past government’s “historical truth,” which the current federal administration has rejected.

In that version of events, the Guerreros Unidos burned the bodies of the 43 students at a municipal dump and scattered their ashes in a nearby river.

 Source: Milenio (sp) 

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