Nine police arrested in Mexico for disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa students

Back in 2014, law enforcement officials committed serious abuses to quell student protests in the state of Guerrero.

The Mexican Attorney General's Office ordered the arrest of nine members of law enforcement, seven Guerrero state police and two more local Iguala agents, for the 2014 Ayotzinapa case. In that year, thousands of students launched a protest campaign against the government's intention to abolish the rural teacher training colleges. It was then that members of the Armed Forces and security forces persecuted and committed abuses against the demonstrators, resulting in the disappearance of 43 of them.

The Navy and the Guerrero State Public Security Secretariat collaborated in the arrest of the nine policemen. The detainees were already on a wanted list signed in 2022. Among the pending arrests was also that of Tomás Zerón, who was the acting Chief of Police in 2014. After Zeron fleed to Israel, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador asked members of the Jewish community in Mexico to help locate him.

The main piece of the indictment against these nine police officers is the statement of Carla, the code name of a witness protected by the Attorney General's Office and a former member of the criminal group Guerreros Unidos. This gang was employed by law enforcement in 2014 to attack students and use various tactics to quell anti-government protests.

Human rights in Mexico

The arrests come just one day after the findings of the National Human Rights Commission on the Nuevo Laredo massacre perpetrated by the military.

In March, the U.S. State Department also released a report highlighting human rights violations in Mexico. The report cites systematic abuses by law enforcement and the military in Mexico. Mexican President López Obrador responded to the State Department's accusations as "politicking" and "lies."