Mexico: arrest orders issued for Ayotzinapa investigators

A Mexican judge on March 18 issued an arrest warrant for Tomas Zerón, the former head of criminal investigations for the Prosecutor General's Office, and five other former officials for alleged violations in the investigation of the case of 43 college students who disappeared in 2014. The students from the rural teacher's college at Ayotzinapa, Guerrero state, were determined to have been seized by police in September of that year. Although DNA testing only successfully identified one missing student from unearthed remains, officials presumed in 2015 that all 43 were dead. Many of the suspects arrested in the case were later released, and several claimed they had been tortured by police or the military.  The investigation was widely criticized, and the current administration pledged to re-open the case.

Zerón and five other former officials face charges that include torture, forced disappearance, and judicial misconduct. Three of the officials have been arrested, while Zerón and two others remain at large. Interpol was notified, in the event that Zerón is outside of Mexico. There were some indications that he may have left for Canada in 2019.

From Jurist, March 20. Used with permission.

See our last posts on the Ayotzinapa case and the human rights crisis in Mexico.

Remains of a third Ayotzinapa student found

Almost six years after 43 teaching students disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico's federal government announced July 8 that the remains of one more had been identified. Forensic scientists at Austria's University of Innsbruck determined that a bone fragment found in a ravine in Cocula, Guerrero, was the remains of Christian Alfonso Rodríguez.

Omar Gómez Trejo, the special prosecutor in charge of the reexamination of the case, noted that the bone fragment was not found in the Cocula municipal dump or the nearby Rio San Juan, and therefore the former government's official version of what happened to the students on September 26, 2014 "is over."

Rodríguez, who was 21 at the time of his disappearance, is the third of the 43 students to be identified through DNA analysis of discovered remains. The other two were Alexander Mora Venancio and Jhosivani Guerrero de la Cruz. However, Guerreo's family refused to accept the accept the scientists' findings. (Mexico News Daily)