The Case of the 43 Is Almost”Dead”
By Jesús Aguado
It has been almost six months since 43 students went missing in Iguala, Guerrero. The case is almost forgotten by the federal authorities, but citizens still organize demonstrations, and now there is a new federal attorney general (PGR).
On September 26, 2014, according to information from the former federal attorney general, Jesús Murillo Karam, police officers from the municipality of Iguala, Guerrero, arrested 43 students whom they later gave over to Guerreros Unidos—an organized crime group. Members of that cartel murdered the students and burned them at a city dumpster. Later, their ashes and bone remains were thrown into a nearby river. The PGR advised that this crime was the work of the then mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca, who is linked with the narco trade, because he thought the students would hold demonstrations during a report of business activities by his wife, Ángeles Pineda. These former public servants are now imprisoned.
Hundreds of demonstrations have been organized in the country because the version given to the nation by then Attorney General Murillo Karam was rejected by the students’ parents. The protests keep urging the federal authorities to find the 43 students alive. Those requests are also supported by the student DNA results conducted by the University of Innsbruck in Austria because the DNA from the 43 missing students produced just one match. If that is not enough, it is possible that a new technique will be used to try to get more information. However, it is possible that the genetic material could be too degraded for results.
Finally, in February of this year, without giving reasons, President Enrique Peña Nieto decided to remove Murillo Karam from the PGR and relocate him to the SEDATU (Secretariat of Agricultural, Territorial and Urban Development). Murillo Karam did not have a good reputation after his comment, “I am tired.” This phrase was a trendy topic in social networks and was used to respond to questions from members of the press after a press conference.
Finally, on March 9, the new Federal Attorney General, Arely Gómez, was sworn in. Gómez told Milenio, “As a woman of law, a mother and a wife, the case of the 43 missing students hurts me.” Journalist Adela Micha assured that “a serious, deep, and exhaustive investigation was conducted” on the case. She also said that now the task of the PGR will be to continue actions for identifying and arresting other parties responsible and involved in the case.
One of the last demonstrations to urge the government to search for the 43 missing students took place on March 9 in Mexico City. The demonstrators targeted their complaints to the national TV stations and urged them not to let the case die.