MEXICO CITY (AP) — Police authorities in southern Mexico have detained a person linked to the case of the 43 Ayotzinapa students who disappeared seven years ago, the government announced Saturday.
Mateo “N” was captured on Saturday along with two men who were traveling heavily armed in two vehicles in the Los Doctores neighborhood, in the municipality of Iguala de la Independencia, in the southern state of Guerrero, the Security Secretariat said in a statement. and Citizen Protection.
Mateo “N” has a federal arrest warrant for the crimes of forced disappearance and organized crime for the events related to September 26 and 27, 2014 in Ayotzinapa, the brief said.
The capture operation was coordinated by the Secretary of Public Security of Guerrero, with the support of the Secretaries of National Defense, the Navy, Security and Citizen Protection, the National Guard and the National Anti-Kidnapping Coordination.
The detainee was identified by the media as Mateo Benítez Palacios, alias “El Gordo”, who is accused of being an alleged hitman of the “Guerreros Unidos” criminal organization linked to the disappearance of the 43 young people from the Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School that occurred in September 2014 in Iguala.
The young people were captured by Iguala police with the participation of other security forces and criminals.
The government of Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018) assured that the students were handed over to organized crime, which murdered them, incinerated the 43 bodies in a garbage dump in a neighboring municipality — Cocula — and dumped the remains in a nearby river.
That version was discarded after the current Prosecutor’s Office confirmed that the finding reported in 2014 of a bone of a first student, Alexander Mora, was “a set-up”. Additionally, in July 2020, the remains of a second student, Christian Rodríguez Telumbre, were found in a different location than the Cocula dump, called “La Carnicería.”
After Andrés Manuel López Obrador assumed the presidency in December 2018, a Truth Commission was created, thirty new searches were carried out, proceedings were initiated against the head of the federal ministerial police for torture and a detective for falsifying documents, and The arrest of the alleged perpetrators and masterminds of the events was ordered, including federal and military police officers.