After years of stonewalling, Mexico will re-examine the disappearance of 43 students in 2014 in the city of Iguala.
Mexican prosecutors will investigate officials who have treated a “discredited” probe under the previous government’s disappearance on September 26, said to have taken place in violent and chaotic conditions, the Attorney General’s office said.
The kidnapping and the apparent massacre of the training teachers by corrupt police who worked with a drug gang led to international condemnation of Mexico and seriously damaged the reputation of then President Enrique Pena Nieto.
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Last week, his successor, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, said the government would file a complaint with the Attorney General about the release from prison of one of the main suspects behind the disappearances.
A judge ordered the release of Gildardo Lopez Astudillo, the gang leader who had blamed for ordering the murder of the students, after finding that officials had tortured him to obtain evidence.
In a statement, the Attorney General’s office said that the office of a special public prosecutor would provide the necessary evidence so that officials “who had failed in their duties” could be held liable for handling the case.
The investigation of the previous administration was “permanently discredited” by both the public opinion and family members of the victims, the Attorney General’s office said.
The UN human rights agency said in a report last year that Mexican authorities had probably tortured dozens of people during the investigation. The popularity of Pena Nieto has never fully recovered from the scandal and a panel of independent experts has drawn gaps in the official report of the 43-student fate investigation led by then Attorney General Jesus Murillo.
According to that report, the students were killed and then burned by gang members after their abduction in the southwestern city of Iguala. However, researchers have only identified the remains of one of the 43 students.
Lopez Obrador, who took office in December, promised during his election campaign to launch a truth commission to find out what happened to the students.