The former mayor of Iguala, Guerrero, and his wife have now spent almost five years in jail awaiting trial in the case of the 43 students who disappeared in September 2014.
José Luis Abarca Velázquez and María de los Angeles Pineda, a former regional president of the DIF family services agency, are accused of masterminding the attacks in Iguala against students from the Ayotzinapa teacher training college.
Six people were killed on the night of September 26, 2014, and 43 students were allegedly handed over to the Guerreros Unidos drug gang by municipal police before they were killed.
Abarca and Pineda, who were allegedly complicit with the Guerrero Unidos’ criminal activities, evaded capture for more than a month but were arrested in Mexico City on November 4, 2014.
Yesterday, less than three months before the fifth anniversary of their detention, the couple’s daughter took to social media to denounce what she says has been a failure to respect her parents’ right to the presumption of innocence.
“. . . In the previous six-year term [of the federal government], they didn’t care that my parents were innocent of what they were accused of, they concealed evidence, altered files and altered the dates of hearings so that they didn’t occur,” Yazareth Abarca Pineda wrote on Facebook.
“They’ve been prisoners in maximum security jails for almost five years without guarantees, without medical care, without their children,” she added.
“. . . Let justice be served, for once in the history of this country, let’s allow one single thing to be done well and with honesty.”
In hashtags added to her post, Abarca Pineda claimed that her parents are political prisoners.
In addition to defending the innocence of the so-called “Imperial Couple” of Iguala, Abarca Pineda has also initiated legal action in a Mexico City court aimed at recovering assets seized from her parents.
Just two days after he took office, President López Obrador signed a decree to create a super commission to conduct a new investigation into the case of the 43 missing students.
Human rights undersecretary Alejandro Encinas said last week that the commission had analyzed more than 84 million phone calls made in the first six days after the students disappeared, and that it has information to disprove the previous government’s “historical truth.”
The Enrique Peña Nieto-led administration said that after the students were killed their bodies were burned in a municipal garbage dump and their ashes disposed of in a nearby river.
But that version of events has been widely rejected by independent forensics experts, human rights groups, journalists, family members and others who suspect that the army may have played a role in the students’ disappearance and deaths.
Fue el estado – it was the state – is the opinion of many Mexicans as regards to who is responsible for the students’ disappearance and presumed death.
The three words also make up a common slogan that has been chanted at countless Ayotzinapa protests and graffitied on innumerable buildings and monuments.