In the latest development in the infamous case of Mexico’s 43 disappeared, newly released service logs indicate federal police did nothing after being alerted to confrontations between municipal police and student protesters, despite even passing locations where students were kidnapped.
Although details surrounding events leading to the disappearance of the 43 students remain murky, the general consensus is that in September 2014 municipal police in the city of Iguala (located in southwestern Guerrero state) abducted 43 student protesters and handed them over to criminal group Guerreros Unidos. From there, the Mexican government’s contentious investigation concluded the criminals executed and incinerated the students. Only two of the students’ remains have been positively identified.
Additionally, the then-head of the federal police in Iguala told his superiors that, after learning of confrontations between municipal police and protesters, federal units were ordered to monitor the city’s entrances.
However, police operational reports obtained by Animal Politico through a freedom of information request indicate no federal police were stationed at the city’s entrances. Even more damning, one of the federal patrol cars passed by two points where the students were abducted, while another two simply drove away from town.
InSight Crime Analysis
Despite Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s attempts at damage control, the government’s mishandling of the Iguala investigation and the case’s spotlight on widespread corruption continue to damage his administration. Combined with the embarrassment of Sinaloa Cartel head Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s July prison escape, Peña Nieto’s approval rating has declined, hitting a low of 35 percent in August, according to a poll cited by Reuters.
SEE ALSO: Guerrero Unidos Coverage
In a timely coincidence to this latest embarrassment involving federal police in Iguala, El Daily Post reported Peña Nieto has quietly pulled back on plans to tackle corruption by merging Mexico’s 1,800 local police forces into 32 single state police departments. As InSight Crime has previously noted, however — and which is further suggested by federal police logs from Iguala — state and federal police are no less immune to the type of corruption and incompetence seen among municipal police.
Unfortunately, none of these aborted policies or political missteps have helped remedy the rampant violence and impunity in which the missing 43 case occurred. Indeed, Guerrero holds the dubious title of the Mexican state with the highest murder rate, and the recent discovery of yet another set of mass graves speaks to this brutal reality.