By KELIN DILLON
Seven years after 43 male students from Mexico’s Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College were kidnapped and disappeared on Sept. 26, 2014, the students’ parents have demanded the federal government and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) deepen investigation into the army’s purported role in the tragic event.
Allegations and evidence of the 27 Infantry Battalion of Iguala’s involvement in the students’ disappearance have floated around for years without further examination by the government, said Vidulfo Rosales, a lawyer to one of the impacted families.
“The Army followed the students, and they patrolled different places where they were being attacked, and there is a witness who says that at least 25 students were taken to the 27 Battalion. That testimony has already been ratified,” said Rosales, pointing to this segment of the Army’s proven links to the region’s criminal organization Guerreros Unidos.
“This makes it necessary to open an exhaustive investigation against those elements of the Army, to define their responsibility.”
Despite AMLO previously opening a truth commission in 2018 to find out the reasons behind the disappearance, a meeting between López Obrador, Secretary of Defense General Luis Cresencio Sandoval, Undersecretary of Human Rights Alejandro Encinas and Attorney General Alejandro Gertz with the families on Friday, Sept. 24, displayed just how little progress has been made.
“The only thing the president said on Friday was that he had confidence in the Secretary of Defense and that the information had already been provided,” said Rosales. “We believe that the Army must take a position and say, ‘we are willing to be investigated,’ because we see that there is not much willingness.”
Members of the missing students’ families continued to plead for further investigation into Mexico’s Army, saying they will not stop publicly inquiring about its role in the event if an in-depth investigation does not take place.