The Mexican army has arrested the mayor of a small town where the bodies of 43 students from a rural teachers’ college were allegedly incinerated last year following their kidnapping. A top drug cartel leader in Guerrero state was also detained, officials said Thursday.
Cocula Mayor Eric Ulieses Ramírez and Adán El Tomate Zenen Casrrubias, who is the brother of a former Guerreros Unidos cartel leader, were detained in Cuernavaca, Morelos state.
Local drug mafia Guerreros Unidos was allegedly responsible for the killings
Cocula is the site of the trash dump where authorities believe that the bodies of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa were burned after they were shot and killed on the night of September 26-27, 2014 following their arrest in nearby Iguala, where they took part in a political protest.
The Guerreros Unidos local drug mafia were responsible for the killings, authorities believe.
The mayor and the cartel leader were armed and had a package of what appeared to be cocaine. Accompanying them was Eloy Flores, who is said to be a legal advisor for the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), which governs in Cocula.
El Tomate is the brother of Sidronio Casarrubias, the former Guerreros Unidos leader who was captured in 2014.
Around 100 people have been arrested in connection with the disappearance of the students from a rural teachers’ college, including then-Iguala Mayor José Luis Abarca and his wife, María de los Ángeles Pineda, who fled after the killings.
Prosecutors claim that the couple conspired with Guerreros Unidos to kidnap and kill the students.
The entire incident has raised international questions about human rights in Mexico.
Municipal police forces in Iguala and Cocula were responsible for stopping the buses carrying the students from Ayotzinapa. They were later handed over to the cartel for their execution, according to the government’s official version.
But the families of the missing students believe that the Mexican army may have had a hand in the murders.
English version by Martin Delfín.