HomeNewsBriefNew Testimony Suggests Iguala Massacre Motivated by Gang Rivalry
BRIEF

New Testimony Suggests Iguala Massacre Motivated by Gang Rivalry

AYOTZINAPA / 23 JAN 2015 BY LOREN RIESENFELD EN

Nearly four months after 43 students disappeared on their way to a protest in Mexico's Guerrero state, details continue to emerge in a case that has become the focus of mass protests and international criticism.

According to testimony obtained by VICE, members of Guerreros Unidos, the criminal group that allegedly carried out the attacks, said they believed members of rival gang Los Rojos were among the students travelling to Iguala. If the statement is true, the movement of the students would have been perceived as an incursion into Guerreros Unidos territory.

While the students deny any affiliation with Los Rojos, the new information may provide insight into why they were targeted. Previous explanations have focused on the former mayor of Iguala and his wife, who have been identified as the intellectual authors of the attack. (For a full recap of the missing students case, click through InSight Crime's timeline below).

In another development, on January 22, Amnesty International lambasted the Attorney General's office (PGR), and said that more scrutiny should be placed on the army.

The human rights organization's criticism came a day after a team of Austrian forensic scientists stated that they were unable to identify the DNA from remains gathered at a mass grave in Guerrero.

Insight Crime Analysis

With many Mexicans blaming the federal government for this tragedy, the Peña Nieto administration has scrambled to maintain credibility. Once heralded as an uncharacteristically open investigation -- one autopsy was filmed and made publically available -- recent information has repeatedly called the official story into question.

However, the testimony about Los Rojos may not be accurate either. A December 2014 investigation by the magazine Proceso indicated that witnesses who testified about the attack were tortured, undermining their versions of the events.

Proceso also revealed that federal police knew about the movement of the students as they left their college in Ayotzinapa, and even shot at them later that night.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

Still, the fate of the bodies is unknown. Forensic scientists from Mexican university UNAM recently announced that the students' bodies could not have been burned at the trash dump in Cocula, the supposed site of the massacre, adding weight to speculation that they may have been incinerated at an army crematorium nearby.

The Mexican government maintains that federal police and the army were not involved. At a January 20 event at the Wilson Center in Washington DC, Ariel Moutsatsos, the Minister for Press and Public Affairs at Mexico's US embassy, said that the investigation has been "impeccably articulated" and "is truthful, regardless of whether someone believes it or not."

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

CHINA AND CRIME / 12 MAY 2021

While the involvement of Chinese money-laundering rings in handling drug proceeds from Mexico is nothing new, a number of recent…

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 2 AUG 2022

A Yucatán community has formed a defense group to protect its local lobster population as illegal fishing causes numbers to…

FENTANYL / 18 APR 2022

Mexican authorities have intercepted a succession of flights carrying synthetic drugs to the northern state of Sonora, raising questions over…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…