MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Mexican judge issued an arrest warrant for the former head of investigations for the Attorney General's Office for alleged violations in the investigation of the case of 43 college students who disappeared in 2014, officials said Wednesday.
Tomas Zerón oversaw the criminal investigation agency of the Attorney General's Office and also its forensic work in the case. The students' bodies have never been found, though a burned bone fragment matched one student.
Many of the suspects arrested in the case were later released, and many claimed they had been tortured by police or the military.
Federal officials who were not authorized to be quoted by name said that a warrant was issued for Zerón's arrest and that Interpol had been notified to help locate him in case he was outside of Mexico,
Zerón's investigation had long been criticized by the families of the 43 teachers' college students who disappeared in September 2014 after they were detained by local police in Iguala, in the southern state of Guerrero. They were allegedly handed over to a drug gang and slain, and have not been heard from since.
Zerón was at the center of the government's widely criticized investigation, which has failed to definitively determine what happened to the students. Two independent teams of experts have cast doubt on the insistence of Mexican officials that the students bodies were incinerated in a huge fire at a trash dump.
The students attended the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. They were in Iguala on Sept. 26, 2014, to hijack buses to use for transportation to a rally in Mexico City. They were attacked on the buses by local police and allegedly handed over to members of the Guerreros Unidos cartel.