The disappearance of Mexican students was a state-sponsored crime, the truth panel says Mexico

The disappearance of 43 Mexican students after they were mugged by police officers in 2014 was a state-sponsored crime involving federal and state agencies at the highest levels of government, according to the final report of a government truth commission.

The commission set up by the current government confirmed that the federal government, including the Mexican military and federal police, had knowledge of the students’ movements from the time they left their rural school campus in Guerrero state until they arrived in the city from Iguala, where the students were kidnapped on the night of September 24th.

Local law enforcement officials then worked with a large group of cartel gunmen and guards to forcibly disappear the students, the report confirmed.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador promised the families of the missing students that every government agency reporting to the Executive Branch would work with the commission to find out “the truth” about the case. And he promised there would be no impunity.

According to the report, the Mexican military, marines and recently created National Guard have provided documents, videos and listening devices to the commission.

The case rocked the country even as the Mexican government tried to cover up the crime, insisting only local authorities and cartel members were responsible for the crime. So far, only the remains of three of the 43 students have been identified.

The Mexican military has barracks just five minutes from where the students were attacked, but the then defense minister originally claimed that no troops were on the streets of Iguala on the night of the attack.

A news report revealed statements from nearly 40 soldiers who swarmed the city of Iguala that night in search of students who had escaped the ambush.

The commission revealed that the military closely monitored the students and didn’t budge to save them from local police officers, who helped them disappear.

It was also confirmed that a soldier had infiltrated the group of students and was on the buses they had taken to the city. The soldier, the commission confirmed, remains missing along with the majority of the students.

The commission also confirmed that the students were never taken to a nearby landfill and burned, as the previous government had claimed. Fire and coroners, brought in by the students’ families, had refuted the theory, much to the annoyance of the previous government.