Retired general arrested for involvement in kidnapping and execution of 43 students in 2014 in Mexico

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Retired general arrested for involvement in kidnapping and execution of 43 students in 2014 in Mexico

Public Security Undersecretary Ricardo Mejia said four arrest warrants were recently issued against military personnel for their involvement in the 2014 kidnapping of 43 students in the southwestern Mexican city of Iguala.

Mexican authorities arrested retired general Jose Rodriguez on suspicion of involvement in the 2014 disappearance of 43 pedagogy students.

Rodriguez is the highest-ranking military official to be arrested so far in this case.

Public Security Undersecretary Ricardo Mejia said four arrest warrants were recently issued against military personnel for their involvement in the 2014 kidnapping of 43 students in the southwestern Mexican city of Iguala. “So far the three warrants have been executed and we have three detainees, among them including the commander of the 27th Infantry Brigade at that time”, he added in the press conference he gave.

Rodriguez was the head of that particular unit at the time. Previous Mexican governments have claimed that local corrupt police officers working with a local drug-trafficking gang were responsible for the abduction and murder of the students.

In late August, after the current government reviewed the case, Interior Undersecretary Alejandro Encinas said that six of the missing students had been handed over alive to Rodriguez, who ordered their execution.

When asked for comment on the charges against Rodriguez, Mexico’s defense ministry said it had no information on the matter.

In its report, the government describes the case as a “state crime”. It also alleges that local, state and federal authorities, including the military, worked together to cover up the crime.

In 2014 the head of the army was Salvador Cienfuegos, who a few years later, in 2020, found himself at the center of a diplomatic row with the US when he was arrested at the Los Angeles airport on charges of drug trafficking. He denied any involvement and the case was eventually dropped.

Two Mexican officials said the government does not plan to prosecute Cienfuegos over the students’ disappearance.

RES-EMP

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