Sunday, June 16, 2024

Police officer accused of Ayotzinapa student murder is arrested

A state police officer accused of killing a 23-year-old student in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, last month was arrested on Wednesday morning, authorities said.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador told reporters at his morning press conference that the officer who allegedly killed Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College student Yanqui Kothan Gómez Peralta on March 7 was detained on a ranch near Acapulco, located on the Pacific coast of Guerrero.

Slide showing mugshot of police officer and weapons seized
At his Wednesday morning press conference, President López Obrador said the police officer had been detained near Acapulco. Three firearms were also seized at the property. (Presidencia)

The officer, identified as David “N,” is accused of firing the shots that killed Gómez. He was arrested shortly after the incident, but escaped custody on March 11 — allegedly with the assistance of state authorities. Two other officers with him at the time of the alleged murder were arrested on March 13.

López Obrador said that the officer detained on Wednesday was on a ranch owned by another police officer who was apparently protecting him. Security forces seized three firearms at the property, he said.

The Guerrero Attorney General’s Office said in a statement that state police collaborated with soldiers and members of the National Guard on the operation to arrest the suspect. David “N” is accused of murder and the attempted murder of another Ayotzinapa student who was traveling with Gómez in the same car in Chilpancingo.

Guerrero authorities initially claimed that the police came under fire, but López Obrador subsequently said that the students “did not shoot,” and therefore “there was an abuse of authority.”

Firefighters hose a burning vehicle
On Monday, Ayotzinapa student protesters attacked government buildings in Chilpancingo, causing a fire in one of the buildings. (Cuartoscuro)

Governor Evelyn Salgado said on the X social media platform on Wednesday morning that the arrest of the police officer confirms authorities’ “commitment” to achieving justice for Gómez.

The arrest came two days after Ayotzinapa students carried out an attack on the Government Palace complex in Chilpancingo that caused a fire on the second floor of one building.

Students from the school have protested on numerous occasions since the death of their fellow trainee teacher, and have attacked other state government offices in recent weeks.

Located near Chilpancingo in the municipality of Tixtla, the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College is the school attended by the 43 young men who were abducted and presumably killed in 2014.

With reports from Reforma and El País

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