August 21, 2022 (OrinocoTribune.com)—Former prosecutor general of Mexico, Jesús Murillo Karam, was arrested on Friday, August 19, for alleged involvement in the Ayotzinapa forced disappearance case, in which 43 teaching trainee students of Guerrero state were forcibly taken and later executed during the midnight hours of September 26-27, 2014. Murillo Karam, who headed the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Republic during the presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), was the mastermind behind the deceiving “historical truth” narrative of the case.
The news of the detention was reported by the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) through an official statement, which explained that the former prosecutor general was arrested “for the crimes of forced disappearance, torture, and obstructing the administration of justice in the Ayotzinapa case.”
#FGRInforma | La #FGR, cumplimentó orden de aprehensión en contra Jesús “M”, por la probable comisión de los delitos de desaparición forzada, tortura y contra la administración de justicia, en el caso Ayotzinapa. ➡️ https://t.co/UEaTUCsvZe
— FGR México (@FGRMexico) August 19, 2022
The statement added that Murillo Karam had submitted to arrest “without any resistance.” The FGR also publicly acknowledged “the tactical and operational support” that it received from “specialized personnel of the Mexican Navy.”
On Saturday, August 20, Murillo Karam was placed in preventive detention in order to ensure his appearance at the hearing scheduled for next Wednesday, August 24, where it will be determined whether he will be tried on charges related to the Ayotzinapa case. The preventive detention order was requested by the FGR due to Murillo Karam’s high risk of flight from the country to avoid justice. This is the first time that a former prosecutor general of Mexico has been sent to prison.
In addition to Murillo Karam’s arrest, the FGR reported that it has obtained arrest warrants against 20 military personnel, 44 police officers and five state officials who were also linked to the forced disappearance of the 43 students. It is also investigating the chains of command that acted before, during and after the Ayotzinapa operation, to determine responsibilities of the crime. Among those being investigated are former Secretary of National Defense General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, former Secretary of the Interior Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, and former Secretary of the Mexican Navy Admiral Vidal Francisco Soberón Sanz, as well as former attorney of Guerrero state, Iñaki Blanco.
#FGRInforma | #FGR obtuvo 83 órdenes de aprehensión contra 20 mandos militares y personal de tropa en Iguala, autoridades de Guerrero; policías estatales, policías municipales y 14 miembros del grupo Guerreros Unidos, vinculados al caso Ayotzinapa.
— FGR México (@FGRMexico) August 20, 2022
Murillo Karam is accused of deliberately concealing the truth of the Ayotzinapa case, using state institutions in criminal acts, having responsibility in serious human rights violations (forced disappearance and torture), and obstructing investigations into the whereabouts of the 43 students.
On January 27, 2015, Murillo Karam, together with then head of the Criminal Investigation Agency, Tomás Zerón de Lucio—who is now hiding in Israel, presented the so-called historical truth of the incident. Over the years investigations have proved that version of events to be a lie orchestrated at the highest levels of government in order to ensure impunity for the perpetrators of this crime against humanity, as the Ayotzinapa case has been designated by the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)-appointed team of independent experts.
Among the evidence against Murillo Karam is a video recorded by a Mexican Navy drone at the Cocula landfill. The video shows the former attorney general arriving at the site on the morning of October 27, 2014, minutes after 12 personnel of the Navy had manipulated the scene where the bodies of the 43 students were supposedly incinerated, and three months before releasing his so-called historical truth.
The FGR’s actions came after the Commission for Truth and Access to Justice in the Ayotzinapa Case presented a report stating that the disappearance of the 43 students was a state crime. Last Thursday, August 18, Alejandro Encinas, president of the commission and Mexican under-secretary for human rights, submitted the report to the parents of the disappeared students.
— Alejandro Encinas (@A_Encinas_R) August 18, 2022
“The disappearance of the 43 students from the Isidro Burgos Normal School in Ayotzinapa on the night of September 26-27, 2014, constituted a state crime in which members of the criminal group Guerreros Unidos and agents of various Mexican state institutions participated together,” Encinas declared while presenting the report.
He added that so far “there is no indication that the students are alive; on the contrary, all the testimonies and evidence prove that they were killed and disappeared,” a tragic conclusion that had already been deduced by most.
Orinoco Tribune special by Saheli Chowdhury
Saheli Chowdhury is from West Bengal, India, studying physics for a profession, but with a passion for writing. She is interested in history and popular movements around the world, especially in the Global South. She is a contributor and works for Orinoco Tribune.