MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Lawyers for relatives of 43 student teachers who disappeared in southern Mexico seven years ago criticized the government’s disclosure on Friday of conversations between alleged criminals and authorities linked to the case.
The students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College disappeared on Sept. 26, 2014, in the state of Guerrero. The remains of only three of the students have been positively identified.
A document released by the government from the investigation of the disappearances indicates that a high-ranking member of the criminal group Guerreros Unidos asked police to hand over the students the night they disappeared in the city of Iguala.
“It is risky that information about an ongoing investigation is disseminated in this way, as it may jeopardize its success,” said a statement by the Miguel Agustin Pro Human Rights Center, which represents the relatives of the victims.
Text messages said that at least 17 of the students were taken to a “cave,” according to the transcript released on Friday by the Interior Ministry at the request of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
The unsolved kidnapping convulsed the country, sparking massive protests in 2014 and garnering international condemnation as one of the darkest examples of the government’s longstanding difficulty preventing violence or convicting those responsible.
Family members of the victims have long accused Mexican authorities, including the military, of complicity in the students’ disappearance.
Lopez Obrador in January confirmed that a witness had implicated soldiers https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-crime-ayotzinapa-idUSKBN29Q2NY in the 2014 disappearance of the students.
(Reporting by Liz Diaz and Noe Torres; Writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by William Mallard)