Mexico has arrested retired army general José Rodríguez Pérez in connection with the bloody disappearance of 43 students in the city of Iguala almost eight years ago.
Security Undersecretary Ricardo Mejía broke the news on Thursday, referring to Rodríguez only as “the commander of the 27th Infantry Battalion when the events in Iguala took place.” He did not specify the allegations against Rodriguez. A spokesperson for the Secretariat of Government confirmed to CNN that Rodríguez Pérez has retired with the rank of General.
CNN is working to contact Rodríguez’s defense.
Mejia said a total of four arrest warrants have been issued against unknown members of the Mexican military. Three of the four have been arrested, he said.
Mexico’s defense secretary did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
On September 26, 2014, local police and federal military forces intercepted the missing students, who were on their way to Mexico City from a teacher training college near the town of Ayotzinapa.
They were planning to commemorate the anniversary of the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre, in which government forces killed 300 student protesters in Mexico City. But they never succeeded.
Bullet-riddled buses were later seen in the streets of Iguala, and some of the other students on the buses accused the security forces of having opened fire. But forty-three of their kind were never found again.
On August 18, the truth commission set up by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador released a bombshell report that concluded the missing students were victims of “state-sponsored crime,” alleging that agents from various government agencies colluded with elements of organized crime. the murders According to the report, at least six of those victims were kidnapped and later killed in Rodriguez’s custody.
“Six of the students are believed to have been alive for four days after the events and died and disappeared allegedly on the orders of then-Colonel José Rodríguez Pérez,” Mexico’s top human rights official, Alejandro Encinas, said in an August press release. speech with Lopez Obrador.
The report, Encinas added, stated that on September 30, 2014, Rodriguez said that “the six students who had already survived were taken care of.”