Mexico to set up special team to probe disappearances

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announces establishment of new special investigative unit to probe disappearance of 43 students

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

A person holds a sign that reads in Spanish "Ayotzinapa, we are missing 43. A crime by the state!" during a protest for the 43 missing students

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced on Thursday that the federal government will create a special team and appoint a new prosecutor to probe the missing student case after he met with the relatives of the students only two days before the first anniversary of the incident.

He said that a new special investigative unit will handle the case and it will be under international examination as his government has been criticised for mishandling the investigations.

The families of the missing students began a hunger strike in Mexico City’s historic Zocalo Square on Thursday to call on Nieto’s government to start a new investigation which would be observed internationally.

Parents and supporters of 43 missing students gathered at Mexico City’s historic Zocalo Square

A Presidential Spokesperson Eduardo Sanchez said that Pena Nieto told the relatives of the missing, "We are on the same side and we are working on the same goal: To know what happened to your sons and punish each and every one of those who are responsible. We are searching for the truth together."

According to Sanchez, Nieto also signed a document that presents some eight demands of the families, ordering his cabinet including interior and foreign ministers to evaluate all of the requests.  

Although Sanchez did not mention when the demands will be answered, though said that action will be taken urgently.

Forty three students went missing on Sept 26, 2014 in Iguala city in Mexico’s Guerrero state after being attacked by the local police.

The Federal government arrested Gildardo Lopez Astudillo - who is the leader of Guerreros Unidos drug cartel in Iguala city - on Sept 17, accusing him of leading the abduction and killing of the students.

However, the families have rejected this assertion, blaming the Mexican officials for misleading the investigation.

Pena Nieto’s government came into office in 2012 after promising to restore order in the country where thousands of people have died in murders related to organised crime in eight years.

According to the latest official figures released by the Mexican Government, at least 25,000 people went missing in Mexico in the eight-year period between 2007 and 2015.

TRTWorld and agencies