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article imageMexico orders arrest of soldiers over case of 43 missing students

By AFP     Sep 26, 2020 in World

Mexico has ordered dozens of military personnel to be arrested for suspected involvement in the disappearance of 43 students from a teacher's college six years ago, in an unresolved case that outraged the country.

The arrest warrants were announced by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Saturday as he presented a report on a lengthy investigation into the tragedy.

"Those proven to have participated will be judged," he said at an event with parents of the missing students

The president did not detail any charges against the suspects.

Demonstrators in Mexico City mark the sixth year of the disappearance of 43 students of the teaching...
Demonstrators in Mexico City mark the sixth year of the disappearance of 43 students of the teaching training school in Ayotzinapa on September 26, 2020
RODRIGO ARANGUA, AFP

The disappearance of the students in southern Gurerro state sent shockwaves around Mexico.

They had commandeered five buses to travel to a protest, but were stopped by corrupt police officers in the city of Iguala, Guerrero and handed over to a drug cartel.

Prosecutors initially said the cartel mistook the students for members of a rival gang and killed them before incinerating their bodies at a garbage dump and tossing the remains in a river.

An official report presented in January 2015 by the government of then president Enrique Pena Nieto was rejected by relatives of the students as well as independent experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Demonstrators carried large pictures of the 43 students of the teaching training school in Ayotzinap...
Demonstrators carried large pictures of the 43 students of the teaching training school in Ayotzinapa who went missing on September 26, 2014
RODRIGO ARANGUA, AFP

Pena Nieto had strongly opposed interrogating military personnel or calling them to testify.

But his successor Lopez Obrador wi

Nearly three dozen people allegedly involved in the case have been arrested since March, officials said.

Families of the victims have long complained that the military did nothing to protect the students and may even have been accomplices in the crime.

Speaking for relatives on Saturday, Maria Martinez Zeferino -- the mother of one of the missing students -- thanked the president but urged him to move faster in hopes that some of the disappeared may still be alive.

A woman kicks a policeman's shield in Mexico City during a September 26  2020 demo marking the ...
A woman kicks a policeman's shield in Mexico City during a September 26, 2020 demo marking the sixth anniversary of the disappearance of 43 students in the city of Iguala, Guerrero
CLAUDIO CRUZ, AFP

In the afternoon more than 5,000 people led by the parents marched in downtown Mexico City, chanting slogans such as "They took them alive, we want them back alive!" and "Justice!"

One group that joined the tail end of the marche smashed windows and clashed with riot police, injuring at least one officer.

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