The Mexican government is denying allegations published this week by Proceso magazine alleging that the nation’s “Federal Police participated actively and directly in the attack” that led to the death of three Ayotzinapa students and the disappearance of 43 others on Sept. 26.
“It’s not true that the FP [Federal Police] intervened,” Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam told MVS Noticias Monday evening.
Federal Police General Commissioner Enrique Galindo also denied his agency's involvement in the events of Sept. 26. In an interview Monday with Mexican journalist and Fusion contributor Carlos Loret de Mola, Commissioner Galindo said that based on the investigation so far, "the hypothesis of this report doesn't stick."
The commissioner added, “With the reports that I have, generated by the Federal Police, knowing the state of force deployed in Iguala on the night of the 26, I would tell you that the Federal Police did not participate, at least we don’t have clear evidence of active participation.”
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The top cop claimed that the 16 Federal Policemen stationed in Iguala are tasked with protecting federal highways and are neither trained nor equipped to carry out the type of attacks described in the report. When asked if the students were being monitored from the time they left campus — as reported by Proceso — he acknowledged the Federal Police were aware the students were entering the municipality because they were aboard buses that were “circulating in federal highways.”
Galindo also denied that a pick-up truck that appears in one of the cellphone videos belonged to Federal Police. He said the published videos do not offer any visual proof that Federal Police participated in the incident. “There is only a voice saying Federal Policemen are there,” he said. The Proceso report makes no mention of the pick-up truck belonging to Federal Police.
1:20’ a man can be seen laying on the street near the truck in question
Anabel Hernandez, the journalist who co-authored the Proceso investigation, said that the Attorney General’s Office would not initially comment on the allegations due to the “ongoing investigation.” Hernandez said her team has “documentation which reveals that the federal police and the army were present in the attack on the normalistas, even before it took place.”
The journalists have declined to share the documents or divulge how they obtained them.
The Proceso investigation alleges the Peña Nieto administration has been covering up the Federal Police's role in the incident since the federal government took over the investigation on Oct. 4. The official version of events pins the blame on Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca, of the Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD), and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda, who are accused of masterminding the attack with the help of the criminal gang Guerreros Unidos. The Proceso report, however, makes no mention of the mayor's role —or that of Guerreros' Unidos— but says “the attack and disappearance of the students was specifically aimed at the school’s ideological structure and [student] government.”
On Monday, the day after the Proceso report hit newsstands, a federal judge granted the Attorney General’s Office request to extend by 20 days the preventive detention of Maria de los Angeles Pineda while prosecutors build their case against her. Former mayor Abarca is currently being held in a maximum security prison.