TIME Mexico

Mexico Is Now Investigating the Role of Federal Police in the Disappearance of 43 Students

YURI CORTEZ—AFP/Getty Images The parents of 43 missing students from Ayotzinapa teachers school hold their portraits and torches during a march 18 months after their disappearance in Mexico City on April 26, 2016.

The disappearances were earlier linked to police at a local level colluding with drug cartels

Mexico has expanded its probe into the 2014 disappearance — and suspected killing — of 43 students in the southern city of Iguala, with new developments indicating the possible involvement of national and state-level law enforcement.

A special federal prosecutor handling the investigation said he recently received 100 declarations from 19 federal and 39 state police personnel in the Mexican province of Guerrero, Reuters reports. The prosecutor, Alfredo Higuera, said declarations had been made by “individuals from all forces.”

The Iguala students, all of them teachers-in-training, are believed to have been abducted by corrupt local police from the buses they were traveling to Mexico City in. According to a heavily-contested government report, they were then handed over to a prominent drug cartel, which subsequently killed them. However, a witness to the abduction had said earlier this year that at least two federal police officers were present, and Higuera said an analysis of hundreds of official phone conversations has revealed additional information.

“This is an investigation that goes beyond any situation, both because of the number of victims and the number of people who took part in it,” he added.

The fate of only one of the students — whose charred remains were found in garbage — has been definitively ascertained.


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