On the night of September 26, Iguala and Cocula police, under orders from the mayor of Iguala, attacked the students of Ayotzinapa, killing three with another 43 handed over to Guerreros Unidos, group which allegedly murdered and then incinerated their remains. That’s the official version. But an investigative report, based on official documents, videos and testimonials, tells another story: The attack was orchestrated and executed by Mexico’s Federal Police, with complicity or cooperation of the Army.
Mexico City - Federal Forces participated in the attack on Ayotzinapa students the night of September 26 in Iguala, Guerrero, during which three normalistas died and 43 went missing in a series of events that were known in real time by the federal government.
A study carried out with the support of the Investigative Reporting Program of UC Berkeley based on testimonies, videos, unpublished reports and court statements shows that Mexico’s Federal Police (PF) were actively and directly involved in the attack.
Furthermore, according to information obtained by Proceso at the Normal School of Ayotzinapa, the attack and disappearance of the students was directed specifically at the ideological and governance structure of the institution, as some of the 43 missing students were part of the Comité de Lucha Estudiantil (Student Action Committee), the highest governing body of the school and 10 of the victims were “political activists in training” within the Comité de Orientación Política e Ideológica (Committee on Political and Ideological Orientation) or COPI.
Until now the official version is that the then mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca, ordered the attack, concerned about the possibility that students would interrupt the activity of his wife, María de los Ángeles Pineda Villa, head of Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF).
According to this version, municipal police of Iguala and the adjoining town of Cocula attacked and captured the students, while members of the Guerreros Unidos cartel murdered and burned their bodies, with federal agents and soldiers in the area unaware of all these events. However, the documents and testimony obtained reveal a different story.
An unpublished Guerrero government report – dated in October and delivered to the Secretary of the Interior (SEGOB) over a month ago and obtained by Proceso concerning the events of 26 and 27 September said that the students were monitored by agents of the state and federal governments from the time they left the Normal school facilities in Ayotzinapa.
According to the document, the Control, Command, Communications and Computer Center (C4) of Chilpancingo reported that the normalistas started out from Ayotzinapa towards Iguala at 17:59 hours. At 20:00 the federal and state police arrived at the Chilpancingo-Iguala federal highway, where the students started a collection. At 21:22 hours the head of the base of the federal police, Luis Antonio Dorantes, was informed of the entry of young people to the bus station and at 21:40, the Iguala C4 reported the first shooting.