Mexico to investigate officials who released suspect involved in Ayotzinapa case

05/09/2019
|
11:47
|
Reuters
Mexico to investigate officials who released suspect involved in Ayotzinapa case
Five years after the disappearance of the 43 students, the case is still unsolved – Photo: Edgardo Garrido/EL UNIVERSAL

Mexico to investigate officials who released suspect involved in Ayotzinapa case

05/09/2019
11:47
Reuters
Mexico City
Miguel Ángel López, Julia Love & Bill Bekrot/REUTERS
-A +A
On Saturday, Gildardo “El Gil” López Astudillo, leader of the Guerreros Unidos cartel was released from prison after a judge found that the government had tortured him to obtain evidence

On Wednesday, the Mexican government attacked a court’s decision to release a key suspect in the 2014 disappearance of 43 student teachers from Ayotzinapa and said it will ask authorities to review the conduct of the judges and prosecutors involved in the case.

The abduction and apparent massacre of the trainee teachers by corrupt police working with local drug gang Guerreros Unidos sparked international condemnation of Mexico and battered the credibility of the previous president Enrique Peña Nieto.
 

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On Saturday, Gildardo “El Gil” López Astudillo, the Guerreros Unidos leader blamed for ordering the murder of the students, was released from prison after a judge found that the government had tortured him to obtain evidence.

Alejandro Encinas, the Mexican deputy interior minister responsible for human rights, sharply criticized the court’s decision, saying during a news conference that it had set a “very serious precedent” and that the government would look into the decision to release López.
 

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Speaking alongside Encinas, Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the government would challenge the decision to release the Guerreros Unidos leader.

“We are going to formally present a complaint to the attorney general’s office and the judicial branch in this case,” López Obrador said.

The precedent set in the case could ultimately lead to the release of 50 other suspects who have been detained in connection with the disappearances, Encinas said.
 

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Last year, the United Nations’ human rights office said in a report that Mexican authorities had probably tortured dozens of people during the investigation.

Peña Nieto’s popularity suffered lasting damage from the scandal over the disappearances, and his government was heavily criticized for its handling of the investigation.
 

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Investigators have definitively identified the remains of only one of the 43 students, who according to the government were killed and then incinerated by the gang members.

López Obrador, who took office in December, promised during his campaign to launch a Truth Commission to get to the bottom of what happened to the missing students.
 

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