US deports suspect in abducted students case to Mexico

Relatives of the 43 missing students of the Ayotzinapa teacher training college hold banners on Nov 15, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

MEXICO CITY - US authorities have deported to Mexico a former police officer accused of involvement in the disappearance of 43 college students in 2014 – one of the Latin American country’s worst human rights tragedies.

Alejandro Tenescalco Mejia, 41, was handed over to Mexican authorities after he entered the United States illegally by climbing over the border wall, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Thursday.

“Tenescalco Mejia is one of several individuals wanted in the case (of the abducted students), according to a Mexican court document,” it said in a statement.

The suspect was wanted by Mexican authorities and Interpol for kidnapping and involvement in organized crime, Mexico’s National Migration Institute said.

The students at a teacher training college had commandeered buses in the southern state of Guerrero to travel to a demonstration in Mexico City before they went missing.

Investigators say they were detained by corrupt police and handed over to a drug cartel, though exactly what happened to them is disputed.

One theory is that cartel members targeted the students because they had unknowingly taken a bus with drugs hidden inside.

So far, the remains of only three victims have been identified.

Last year, a truth commission tasked by the government to investigate the atrocity branded the case a “state crime” involving agents of various institutions, including the military. AFP

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