Special Prosecutor’s Office Confirms Links Between Cartel and Armed Forces
By KELIN DILLON
A new document released by the Mexican Specialized Prosecutor’s Office surrounding the 2014 Ayotzinapa case confirmed links between the Mexican Armed Forces and the notorious organized crime group Guerreros Unidos.
Released on Tuesday, Sept. 26 by the administration of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), the document revealed testimonies from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that corroborated the link between the Mexican military and the cartel group.
“From various sources there are links between elements of the Federal Police and the Army that operated in the Iguala region with Guerreros Unidos,” read the report.
“Derived from various statements from different witnesses, as well as text messages provided by the DEA, the then-Colonel José Rodríguez Pérez, Commander of the 27th Infantry Battalion based in Iguala, Captain José Martínez Crespo and then-Colonel Rafael Hernández Nieto, Commander of the 41st Battalion, are linked to Guerreros Unidos.”
According to the document, the Armed Forces received money from Guerreros Unidos in exchange for weaponry, equipment, drug smuggling and protection.
The document went on to allege that the disappearance of the 43 students in the Ayotzinapa case was caused by confusion by Guerreros Unidos over whether the group of students had been infiltrated by the rival Los Rojos gang, which was fighting over the Iguala regional plaza with Guerreros Unidos at the time.
Likewise, the document stated that Guerreros Unidos wanted to teach the Ayotzinapa students “a lesson” due to their public demonstrations against the disappearances of social leaders and the destruction of Iguala’s municipal palace.
Finally, the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office document claimed that the Ayotzinapa case was caused by the transfer of drugs, weaponry or money in one of the buses taken by the students.
In conclusion, the report confirmed that approximately 132 people reportedly involved in the disappearances of the Ayotzinapa – including government officials, Guerreros Unidos members and elements of the Mexican military and police – are currently imprisoned across the country.