According to an investigation published by the Proceso magazine, federal forces participated in the attack on the disappeared students on 26 September 2014. The work carried out with the support of the Program for Investigative Journalism at the University of California Berkeley, based on testimonies, videos, unedited reports, and judicial declarations, shows that the federal police (PF) actively and directly participated in the attack. The article indicates the contradictions that exist between the account provided by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the testimonies of those arrested, as well as those provided by students who survived the attack. One of the key points in the investigation is that the Ayotzinapa students had been surveilled, such that the federal police knew of their arrival to Iguala. It shows furthermore that the attack and forcible disappearance of the students was specifically directed at the ideological structure of the school they attended, given that of the 43 disappeared, one was a member of the Commitee for Student Struggle, the highest-ranking organ within the school’s administration, while 10 others were “budding political activists” associated with the Committee for Political and Ideological Orientation (COPI).
Beyond this, information has begun to appear in social networks that the majority of the disappeared students still live and are being held by the Army and federal police as part of a military intelligence operation. The truth of these claims still has yet to be confirmed. The communiqué was published presumably by soldiers of the Mexican Army who pertain to the 35th military zone (which includes Iguala); the sources in question no longer belong to the unit, as they were sent elsewhere or dismissed. The objective of this operation, called “Az,” was to fracture “the transgressor groups of the school who disrupt order in Iguala by appropriating vehicles that are the property of the mayor, and bother people from various localities.” According to the communiqué, “the transgressors were divided into 3 groups by military intelligence, with 21 sent to two military barracks for interrogation,” with the rest divided into two groups that were then sent to Cocula and Chilapa by municipal police and the “United Warriors” drug cartel.
Beyond this, on 14 December, confrontations in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, left 22 injured (14 of them teachers, parents, and students from the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, and 8 federal police). The events took place when a group of students who were preparing a rock concert “A light in the darkness” were attacked with stones, beatings, and tear-gas by police. “This is an act of police brutality that clearly seeks to silence the voices of the parents of the disappeared,” noted Vidulfo Rosales Sierra, lawyer for the Tlachinollan Mountain Center for Human Rights. Omar García, director of the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, related that despite the fact that the police had been told that “we were students, and that we were preparing the concert, they told us: ‘It matters not; we are going to even beat your mothers.'” The parents of the disappeared accused the federal government of having provoked the incident deliberately. The National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) has launched an investigation into the events in question.
For more information (in Spanish):
Filtración: “Los normalistas de Ayotzinapa están vivos, los tiene el Ejército mexicano” (RT, 14 de diciembre de 2014)
Iguala: la historia no oficial (Proceso, 13 de diciembre de 2014)
COMUNICADO | Agrede Policía Federal a estudiantes y familiares de desaparecidos de Ayotzinapa durante la preparación de jornada cultural(Tlachinollan, 14 de diciembre de 2014)
Investiga la CNDH hechos violentos en Chilpancingo (Proceso, 14 de diciembre de 2014)
Caso Iguala: federales involucrados y tortura a testigos.- Anabel Hernández(Aristegui Noticias, 15 de diciembre de 2014)