New controversy in the case of the 43 missing students in Mexico

A local judge released 24 municipal police officers accused of the disappearance and murder of 43 students from a normal school in Mexico in 2014, which opens the door for other alleged perpetrators to continue to leave prison in the next few days, the deputy secretary said on Sunday of Human Rights of the country.

Relatives of the 43 missing students in Ayotzinapa, hold posters with their photographs.

Relatives of the 43 missing students in Ayotzinapa, hold posters with their photographs. / Via REUTERS

Reuters | Diego Oré

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Leer en español: Nueva polémica en caso de desaparición de 43 estudiantes en México

Days ago, a judge ordered the release of Gildardo López, one of those allegedly responsible for the "enforced disappearance of Iguala", which occurred the morning of September 27, 2014, the southern state Guerrero, a fact that hit the administration of former president Enrique Peña Nieto.

In addition to López, some 53 defendants had already regained their freedom in recent years as their testimonies were obtained through torture and after arbitrary detentions.

"There are only 65 of the 142 people detained. If this trend is maintained and, as the political intention of doing so is evident, perhaps several freedoms can be granted in the next few days," said Alejandro Encinas, Undersecretary for Human Rights of the Secretariat of the Interior.

"This resolution sets a serious precedent ... privileging the right of the alleged perpetrators over the right of justice to be enjoyed by victims, their families and society," Encinas added at a press conference.

Last year, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said it found "strong reasons to believe that a portion of the people arrested in Mexico at the initial stage of the investigation were tortured and arbitrarily detained."

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In September 2014, more than 100 students from a normal rural school in Ayotzinapa - some 220 kilometers south of Mexico City - who were traveling on several buses were attacked by police colluded with criminals. 43 of them disappeared and only the supposed remains of one were found.

Encinas promised "to continue until the truth is known" and assured that the Prosecutor's Office will initiate an investigation against officials "who failed to fulfill their responsibilities in the development of the investigation", such as the former state attorney Jesús Murillo; the former head of the Criminal Investigation Agency, Tomás Zerón; and the former prosecutor of the case, José Pérez.

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