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10/7/2020  
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SOCIETY AND CONSUMER
Mexico federal agents implicated in students´ disappearance

The Mexico federal officers were present in the disappearance of 43 students


Two Mexican federal police officers participated in the disappearance of 43 students in Guerrero state, the National Human Rights Commission said Thursday, implicating national agents in the 2014 case for the first time.
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According to an unidentified witness, the federal officers were present when 15 to 20 youths were taken off a bus and led away, the commission said.

Local police told them they were taking the students away for "the boss" to decide their fate, the commission said.

A federal police statement said the allegations were not new and that all officers present in the region that night gave statements, but that "for the moment" no wrongdoing was found against any agents.

The government says corrupt local police handed them to a drugs cartel. The criminals then killed the students and incinerated their bodies.

Jose Larrieta Carrasco, a commission official investigation the case said the witness overheard conversations by Iguala police who forced the bus to stop by shooting out its tyres.

When federal police arrived and asked what was happening, an Iguala officer reportedly said they were taking the students away to the town of Huitzuco for "the boss" to decide what to do with them.

The federal officers said "OK, that´s good" and allowed the local police to take the students away, the NHRC said.

Mr Larrieta said the commission´s findings were "clear evidence of the co-opting of municipal institutions by criminal organizations" in towns including Iguala and Huitzuco. The authorities should now look into a "new route in the disappearance" of the students.

According to Mr Larrieta, businesses had impeded the investigation by hiding evidence. He did not identify the companies or say whether they were the owners of the bus lines involved.

The NHRC urged the federal Attorney General´s Office to find the identities of the two federal police who were at the scene and authorities should investigate the possibility that state officials were also present.

Investigation questioned
The attorney general´s office said it was providing protection to the eyewitness cited by the commission as well as the person´s family.

Prosecutors declared last year that police officers from Iguala and the neighboring town of Cocula abducted the students and delivered them to the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel.
The gang then killed the students, incinerated their bodies at a garbage dump in Cocula and dropped the remains in a nearby river.
But experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights who conducted an independent investigation said there was no scientific evidence the 43 students were incinerated at the dump.
The case is considered the biggest challenge faced by President Enrique Pena Nieto´s administration, prompting protests and causing his approval rating to drop.

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