HomeNewsBriefNew Testimony Implicates Mexico Federal Police in Iguala Case
BRIEF

New Testimony Implicates Mexico Federal Police in Iguala Case

GUERREROS UNIDOS / 18 APR 2016 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

Witness testimony given to Mexico's human rights agency has implicated federal police in the 2014 disappearance of 43 student protestors from Iguala, opening a new line of inquiry in a landmark case that has yielded few clear answers.  

In an April 14 press release (pdf), Mexico's National Human Rights Commission (Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos – CNDH) announced the possible participation of two federal police officers in the September 2014 disappearance of 43 students from Iguala, in the southwestern state of Guerrero.

The information comes from testimony the CNDH received from a protected witness about events at the Chipote Bridge the night the students disappeared.

According to the testimony, Iguala municipal police stopped the number 1531 Estrella de Oro bus -- one of three buses carrying student protestors -- under the bridge, forced the 15 to 20 students onboard to disembark, and handcuffed them. (See video below) One officer commented the students would not all fit in the police cruisers, but was told not to worry, "Those from Huitzuco are coming," the witness said.

The police had allegedly called for backup from the neighboring municipality of Huitzuco de los Figueroa, and three additional police patrols soon arrived.

As the detained students were being loaded into police vehicles, the witness told CNDH that two federal police officers arrived on the scene and asked what was going on.

"They [the students] were fucking with a partner back there," a municipal officer explained. "They'll be taken to Huitzuco where El Patrón [the boss] will decide what to do with them."

The federal police allegedly made no attempt to intervene, and the students were subsequently driven away, never to be seen alive again.

The head of the CNDH's Iguala investigation, José Larrieta Carrasco, told the media the new evidence suggests federal police allowed the abduction to happen and may have even been active participants. It also indicates they were aware of criminal activities by Iguala and Huitzuco municipal police and knew the individual identified as El Patrón, Larrieta affirmed.

In light of this new witness testimony, the CNDH has called for renewed investigations into events at the bridge, including into where the students were taken and why the presence of federal police was not previously divulged.

InSight Crime Analysis

The CNDH's report throws the Iguala case into further disarray, adding to the multiple and often competing versions of what actually occurred the night the 43 students went missing.  

Nonetheless, the witness testimony suggests the Guerreros Unidos -- the local criminal group held responsible for the students' disappearance -- had a stronger presence than previously thought, and an influence with officials that went beyond the Iguala and Cocula municipal police -- whose role in detaining and handing over the students to the Guerreros Unidos has previously been reported.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of the Guerreros Unidos

For the time-being, however, the CNDH's findings are likely to stoke the anger of a Mexican public frustrated over the government's perceived incompetence or willful lack of effort in handling the case. It also strikes another blow to the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto, whose approval rating recently fell to 30 percent, a record low.  

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ARGENTINA / 1 FEB 2022

In 2021, most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean experienced a marked increase in murders. Resurgent violence was to…

COCAINE / 16 SEP 2021

South Korean authorities have arrested a drug trafficker suspected of importing up to a ton of methamphetamine from Mexico for…

FENTANYL / 21 JAN 2022

Chinese companies are turning to online sales to supply the fentanyl precursor market in Mexico. As a result, more criminal…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…