Mexican authorities arrested retired General José Rodríguez on Thursday for his alleged participation in the 2014 disappearance of 43 student teachers from the Ayotzinapa Normal School. This is the highest-ranking arrest carried out in the Mexican army for these events. The Vice Minister of Security, Ricardo Mejía, reported that four arrest warrants were recently issued, of which three – including the general – have already been executed.
Rodríguez held the position of colonel of the 27th Infantry Battalion of Iguala during the kidnappings, which occurred on September 26 and 27, 2014. According to the previous government, the acts were committed by corrupt local police officers who worked in collusion with a gang of drug traffickers. local.
Last August, a government truth commission that reviewed the case issued a report that considered the disappearance of the 43 as "a state crime," and pointed to Rodríguez as allegedly responsible for the disappearance of six of the students. These young people "would have been alive up to four days after the events and would have been murdered and made to disappear" by order of Rodríguez.
This arrest comes weeks after a judge ordered the arrest of the former Attorney General of Mexico, Jesús Murillo Karam, for his connection to the same case, accused of forced disappearance, torture and against the administration of justice.
After several investigations, it has not been possible to reach a conclusive account of what happened to the 43 students or the motivations of those responsible. The most accepted interpretation is that the local police took the students from their buses in Iguala that night and handed them over to a drug gang. Their bodies have never been found, except for some burnt bone fragments from three of the students.
The news of Rodríguez's arrest comes a day after Congress voted to keep soldiers on the streets, fueling concerns about the power that President Andrés Manuel López grants the Army over citizen security.