MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday in a meeting with the parents of the 43 trainee teachers abducted nearly six years ago that the recent discovery of the remains of one of the youths will give added impetus to the probe.
“The president committed himself to continuing with the investigation, which must be until they clarify (the whereabouts) of all of the students,” Meliton Ortega, a parent of one of the missing students from the Ayotzinapa school, said afterward.
Authorities announced on Tuesday that remains found in a ravine in the southern state of Guerrero had been positively identified as Ayotzinapa student Christian Alfonso Rodriguez Telumbre.
“This is the start of the new investigation, the president tells us, and as parents we see a path forward,” Ortega said.
On Dec. 3, 2018, two days after his inauguration, Lopez Obrador signed a decree for the creation of a truth commission to get to the bottom of the case. Six months later, the federal attorney general’s office established a special, independent unit to conduct the probe.
The unit made sufficient progress for the president to involve the Supreme Court in the matter in March.
The confirmation regarding Rodriguez Telumbre’s remains was the final blow to what the administration of Lopez Obrador’s predecessor, Enrique Peña Nieto, presented as “the historical truth” about the case.
On the night of Sept. 26, 2014, students from the Ayotzinapa Normal School, a rural, all-male teacher training college known for its leftist activism, were attacked in Iguala, Guerrero, after they had commandeered buses to travel to Mexico City for a protest.
Six people – including three students – were killed, 25 were injured and 43 students were abducted and are presumed dead.
Peña Nieto’s administration concluded in early 2015 that the students had been killed by members of the Guerreros Unidos drug gang after being abducted by municipal cops acting on the orders of Iguala’s corrupt mayor, and that their bodies were incinerated at a waste dump in the nearby town of Cocula.
The remains of Rodriguez Telumbre were found in Cocula, but far from the dump.
The parents of the missing students rejected the official account from the start and a group of international experts who examined the case pointed to numerous problems with authorities’ version of events.
Lopez Obrador told Rodriguez Telumbre’s parents during Friday’s meeting that the people responsible for his death would be brought to justice.
“There are more arrests to be made, more searches to be carried out, there are many things still pending,” a lawyer for the Ayotzinapa parents, Vidulfo Rosales, told reporters.
In recent comments to EFE, the attorney said that accountability must go beyond the perpetrators to include “those who, by omission, committed deliberate irregularities to hide the truth and the whereabouts of the students.”
Federal prosecutors disclosed last week that they were seeking the arrest of 46 officials in Guerrero in connection with the Ayotzinapa case.