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Abducted students – eight soldiers in custody

Eight soldiers have been arrested in Mexico for allegedly being involved in the disappearance of 43 students in 2014. Those abducted were allegedly murdered – the case has not been solved to this day.

Nearly nine years ago, 43 students were abducted and allegedly murdered in southern Mexico. Eight soldiers who are said to have participated in the kidnapping have now been taken into custody. This was announced by the Secretary of State in the Ministry of the Interior, Alejandro Encinas, on Twitter. They are charged with “enforced disappearance”.

Four other members of the army are already in custody – including a commander who is said to have ordered the murder of six of the young men. Arrest warrants have been issued for eight other soldiers.

The arrest of the eight suspects came a week after Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office reactivated 16 arrest warrants against army members that were issued in September 2022 and later revoked.

It also took place about a month before an independent commission set up in 2015 to investigate the disappearance would like to publish its results. At the end of March, the commission accused the Mexican military of deliberately withholding information about the disappearance of the students almost a decade earlier.

Three victims identified so far

On September 26, 2014, security forces kidnapped the students from buses in Iguala and handed them over to a local drug gang, who apparently killed and burned them. The case has not been solved to this day, and a motive for the kidnapping is unclear. Under Mexican law, enforced disappearances are under investigation because only the remains of three of the victims could be identified. A growing body of evidence suggests that the police and military collaborated with drug dealers.

President Andres Manuel López Obrador had set up the commission of inquiry because of the many open questions. In August last year, the so-called Truth Commission described the act as a state crime and declared the students dead. Scores of members of the Guerreros Unidos drug gang, as well as police and civil servants, were arrested.

The then Attorney General is said to have manipulated the investigation in order to close the case quickly. He is also accused of condoning torture methods and of complicity in the disappearance of the students.

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