Former Criminal Investigation Agency (AIC) Head Tomás Zerón de Lucio. Photo: Wikipedia

By KELIN DILLON

Following the apprehension of former Mexican Federal Attorney General (FGR) Jesús Murillo Karam on Friday, Aug. 19, for his purported role in covering up the still-unsolved disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa students in 2014, Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Relations Marcelo Ebrard announced his intention to go after the former head of the Criminal Investigation Agency (AIC) Tomás Zerón de Lucio, with the goal to extradite the former security official from his self-imposed exile in Israel to stand trial in Mexico.

It is very difficult for me to set a date in these proceedings, because of the extradition laws in Israel,” Ebrard told the press during the closing ceremony of the International Habitat Summit for Latin America and the Caribbean 2022. “Well, it has its deadlines, but it is already underway and it will no longer be possible for justice to be avoided.”

According to Ebrard, the proper paperwork has already been filed and the extradition process has begun against Zerón, which would bring him back to Mexico to face charges of torture and collaborating to create the so-called “Historical Truth,” a theory promoted by the administration of former President Enrique Peña Nieto – including Zerón and Murillo Karam – to supposedly cover-up the state’s alleged role in the students’ disappearance after the fact.

Zerón – whose time at the AIC was overseen by the Murillo Karam-era FGR, then known as the PGR – is alleged to have tortured the leader of criminal organization Guerreros Unidos Felipe “El Cepillo” Rodríguez Salgado and several of his underlings to obtain confessions under duress that became the Peña Nieto administration’s lynchpin in the “Historical Truth.”

Ebrard went on to point out that, while Mexico and Israel have no formal treaty, Mexico recently extradited an Israeli citizen imprisoned in the country back to Israel to stand trial, demonstrating the two countries’ willingness to cooperate with one another.

“It will be said that there is no extradition treaty, but we have a legal cooperation agreement,” Ebrard said at the time. “What is more, Mexico has just extradited an Israeli who was imprisoned here.” 

“The Israeli government knows perfectly well that this extradition is of the highest priority for us because this individual is directly involved in what has just been reported in the Ayotzinapa case,” said Ebrard.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has been in correspondence with Israel since October 2021 on the theme of Zerón’s extradition, with the Mexican executive’s request accepted by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet two months later.

 

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