MEXICO CITY – The parents of 43 missing students of the Ayotzinapa teacher-training college demanded on Sunday that Mexican authorities speed up the investigation and arrest those responsible for the disappearance of their children in June 2014.
A commission of parents, accompanied by students from Ayotzinapa, a school in the southern state of Guerrero, took their demands to the monument for the 43 children on the central Paseo de la Reforma avenue where they staged a rally just two months before the sixth anniversary of the disappearance of their children.
“We want concrete actions, commitment, concrete results of the investigation and the arrest of the people who harmed and made the students disappear,” said Meliton Ortega, spokesman for the parents.
“We want to send a message to the judiciary and the attorney general of the republic to speed up the arrest of Tomas Zeron de Lucio and other officials who are involved in the Ayotzinapa issue,” Ortega said.
Zeron, who is reportedly in Canada, was the head of the Criminal Investigation Agency when the case occurred. He is wanted on an Interpol notice over allegations torture was used to extract confessions from suspects during the investigation, and his extradition to Mexico is sought.
During the rally, Ortega said that Ayotzinapa’s parents no longer want “more simulations” from the authorities, and that it is time for them to carry out “concrete actions” and to make progress in the investigation.
Ortega added that while the parents have been informed the issuance of new arrest warrants, they consider it insufficient since there hasn’t been any new arrests.
“We have no progress. We are aware of the orders, of the new accusations, but that is not enough. We want the arrests,” said the spokesman for the families of the missing students.
Ortega insisted that seeing detainees “is showing results” and that parents and students will not stop at their demands to see this take place.
The Ayotzinapa case turned around with the change of government in December 2018, after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador established a special commission for the case.
This commission opened the way, with the Attorney General’s Office, to create a special prosecutor’s office, which reopened the case and finally modified the theory set by the previous government.
The old theory was that the 43 students were detained on the night of Sept. 26, 2014 by police from the municipality of Iguala, Guerrero, who handed them over to a criminal group who in turn murdered them and burned their bodies at a nearby garbage dump. This theory became known as the “historical truth.”
Ortega said that President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government’s version of the case “was knocked down” by the reports of forensic experts, who hypothesized it was not probable that the students were cremated in the garbage dump.
For parents, the new research “involves further burying that historical truth.”
However, the spokesperson for the parents maintained that they be given “significant, concrete progress, and the arrests to be able to investigate and to know the whereabouts of the students. It is an urgent call, because the parents are not going to be quiet – we will continue in the fight.”
On July 10, Lopez Obrador met with the parents at the National Palace and promised to work with them to solve the Ayotzinapa case.
In early July, the Prosecutor’s Office ordered the arrest of 46 Guerrero state officials in connection with the disappearance of the students, and previously captured Jose Angel Casarrubias Salgado, or “El Mochomo,” one of the alleged leaders of the Guerreros Unidos cartel, which Mexican authorities believe was involved in the disappearances.
Early this month, Mexican authorities, with the help of forensic experts in Austria, confirmed the identification of the remains of one of the 43 missing students, which were found some 800 meters from the garbage dump where they had allegedly been cremated.