President of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador
López Obrador campaigned for office on the promise of establishing a truth commission into the disappearances. Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

An investigation into the 2014 disappearance of 43 students in Mexico, one of the most well-known mass abductions in recent years, has been found to have had shortfalls, according to a new report.

The Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), a group of specialists selected by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, published its observations on Friday, Mar. 31, and came to the conclusion that the Mexican government had not carried out the planned arrests related to the case.

It also found that important details, notably those pertaining to military involvement in the kidnapping, had been hidden, Al Jazeera reported.

"There are black holes where the information disappears," said Carlos Beristain, one of the members of the GIEI panel.

It is the latest damning report on an ongoing, scandal-ridden probe into the events of Sept. 26, 2014, when 43 students from Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers' College forcibly disappeared.

As part of an annual ritual of protest, the students had taken control of a fleet of buses in the city of Iguala and were using them to go to Mexico City to commemorate the 1968 Tlatelolco student protest massacre.

However, they were stopped by authorities, and what transpired next is still unknown. Authorities in Mexico have made the conjecture that the students were handed over to neighborhood cartels connected to the police and military before being killed.

By DNA matching, several burned bone fragments have been found and linked to three of the missing kids. But the remaining bodies have never been located.

GIEI member Angela Buitrago demanded that arrests in the case continue during the news conference on Friday. According to the GIEI assessment, some of the outstanding arrest warrants were more than six months old.

"We have insisted on the need for verifying and carrying out these arrest orders," Buitrago said, indicating that several public officials were among the suspects still at large.

In 2022, prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 83 officials, including police, military, and government employees, but 21 of the warrants were revoked over the GIEI's objections.

Buitrago said in her statement on Friday that the GIEI had just given material to the prosecution to support the withdrawn arrest warrants.

"It is evident within the large body of documents that there is a possibility of reactivating many of them," she said.

Earlier, the GIEI revealed that evidence points to the involvement of military personnel in the mass disappearance.

The expert panel on Friday reiterated its demand for the administration of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to push the military to submit its case files, including phone data from the alleged kidnapping.

López Obrador campaigned for office on the promise of establishing a truth commission into the disappearances, which had spurred government criticism under his predecessor, former President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Due to the "actions, omissions, or cooperation" of military and government officials, the truth committee concluded in August of last year that the kidnapping qualified as a "state crime."

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.