Parents of 43 missing Mexican students welcome arrest of former attorney general

« For us, it is meaningful and has positive elements that will help us get to the truth and get justice, » the families said in a statement released on Friday.

The fate of the students is a lingering mystery that remains unsolved despite years of scrutiny and international interest.

The students were touring the southwestern town of Iguala from a teachers’ college in Ayotzinapa when their buses were intercepted by local police and federal military forces in September 2014.

What exactly happened after that – and why – remains unknown. However, survivors of the initial group of 100 students said their buses were stopped and pulled over by armed police and soldiers. Bullet-riddled buses were later found on city streets, with shattered windows and blood.

Some 43 students then disappeared.

A government report last week called the incident a « state crime », based on thousands of documents, text messages, phone records, testimonies and other forms of evidence.

Jesus Murillo Karam, Mexico’s former attorney general, was arrested the day after the information emerged and charged by the prosecutor’s office with being a suspect in « the crimes of enforced disappearance, torture and the administration of justice ».

He had led the state investigation into the student disappearances, but was criticized by then-president Enrique Peña Nieto for his lack of transparency in handling the case.

Parents of the 43 welcomed his arrest.

« Today, the judge hearing the case agrees with us. Murillo Karam conducted a questionable and irregular investigation, plagued by torture, manipulation and fabrication of evidence, thus constructing a lie that prevented us from knowing where our children were, » the parents’ joint statement said.

« We cannot give up the fight until we have full proof of their fate. It will be painful for our families to learn of their fate, especially if he is lifeless, but if they give us proof scientific and definitive, we will go home to mourn To this day, we do not have this proof, therefore our claims and our fight continue.

CNNE’s Fidel Gutierrez contributed reporting.

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