Mexico: Authorities Detain Suspect in Ayotzinapa Case

The Federal Police, who have been accused by relatives of the 43 disappeared students & human rights groups of being involved, detained the suspect.

Mexico’s National Security Commission announced Tuesday the Federal Police detained a suspect in the disappearance of 43 students of a rural school in Ayotzinapa in September 2014.

RELATED: AMLO to Create Truth Commissions for Disappeared People

The man detained is Juan Miguel “N,” a.k.a. “El Pajarraco,” who is believed to have participated in the crime that claimed the lives of the 43 students by transporting the bodies to a dumpster in Coluca, Guerrero.

El Pajarraco faces two detention orders for his links with organized crime, including his alleged participation in the kidnapping of the students.

According to the attorney general’s investigations, the 43 students “were delivered by municipal police of Iguala and Cocula to members of a criminal gang (Guerreros Unidos cartel), who later killed them, incinerated their bodies in a dumpster and discarded the remains near the San Juan River.”

In January 2015 Mexico’s former Attorney General Jesus Murillo claimed the case had been solved despite a series of inconsistencies in the case, which were denounced by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the relatives of the disappeared.

The investigation by the administration of outgoing president Enrique Peña Nieto has been widely criticized as unreliable due to allegations of forced and false confessions given under torture, contradictory testimonies, incompatible hypotheses and evidence tampering.

Until now 29 people have been charged for their alleged involvement in the case of forced disappearance.

Human rights groups and the students’ relatives have demanded a thorough investigation of the army and the federal police’s involvement in the disappearance, and question the feasibility of incinerating the 43 bodies in the Cocula dumpster.

Only one of the student’s body has been identified through genetic analysis.     

President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who will assume the office of the presidency in December, said he would reopen the case and establish a national truth commission to investigate all cases of forced disappearances.

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Parents of Ayotzinapa 43 Take Mexico to Human Rights Tribunal

"The Mexican state has to account for the meager progress in the investigation and the search for our children,”the parents said in a statement.

On Thursday, the parents of the 43 missing students from the Ayotzinapa teachers' college announced that they would take the Mexican attorney general's office to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on March 17, given the continued lack of progress in the investigation into the disappearance of their children over 2 years ago.

RELATED: Parents of Ayotzinapa 43 Pledge to 'Toughen up Their Actions'

In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, the Committee of Parents of the 43 said that they were canceling a scheduled meeting with the attorney general's office on Thursday and instead were taking their case to the regional international human rights body.

"Considering that the attorney general's office has offered no guarantees to respond to the proposals we made at the meeting last February 9, the IACHR is the appropriate forum before which the Mexican state has to account for the meager progress in the investigation and the search for our children," said the statement.

After their last meeting with the government on Feb. 9, the parents had promised to "toughen up our actions" if there was no progress in the case by March 9.

The 43 students — from the largely Indigenous teachers' college renowned for its activism — were on their way to a protest in Mexico City when they were pulled over by local police on Sept. 26, 2014. They have been missing ever since.

In the two years since the disappearance the parents, as well as several independent investigations have uncovered evidence which not only challenges the official government claim that the students were murdered by a local drug gang, but also points to higher level state involvement in the disappearance.

Just last week the Mexican-based representative to the U.N. High Commission on Human Rights slammed the attorney general's inquiry into problems with the investigation, calling it a whitewash and pointing to "serious violations" by various officials.

In their statement the parents said that they will now take the demands they had planned to present at Thursday's meeting to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on March 17 in Washington, D.C.

The statement was also signed by the students' committee of the Ayotzinapa teachers' college.

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