Jan 16, 2012

Human Rights Violations - Guerrero Students: 2 state police charged in deaths of students, 10 others released

AMB editor's note: Mexican police forces at the federal and state levels are divided into two agencies. The preventative police function under the respective secretariates (departments) of public security. They patrol their jurisdictions and make arrests but do not investigate crimes. The ministerial police (formerly called the judicial police) function within the secretariates (departments) of the attorneys general or prosecutors offices and carry out investigations of crimes that have been committed or ongoing criminal activity. Thus, they are somewhat similar to the FBI at the federal level in the U.S..

Much of the questioning about which police where responsible for the deaths of the Guerrero students centers on whether it was preventative or ministerial police from either federal or state jurisdictions that shot them. 

Milenio: "Under the discretion of the law, the attorney general of the state of Guerrero released from detention four members of the state ministerial (investigative) police and six members of the preventative police who, on Saturday afternoon, left the detention facility where they had been held for 28 days.

Their liberation occurred simultaneously with the announcement by the Guerrero prosecutor that he is making criminal charges against two ministerial police, Rey David Cortés Flores and Ismael Matadama Salinas, inidicating that they are probably responsible for the murders of normal school students Alexis Herrera Pino y Gabriel Echeverría de Jesús.

The four members of the ministerial police arrived at the scene on December 12 to verify what was happening on the federal highway between Acapulco and Mexico City. At the Attorney General´s Office shots had already been heard that were discharged by Federal Police. The six members of the Preventative Police were part of the body guard of former under-secretary of public security, Ramón Arreola Ibarría (whom the governor removed from office--along with the secretary for public security and the state attorney general--the day after the incident).

These ten police have maintained their positions and can return to their jobs, as they have not been found guilty of the deaths of the students." Spanish original

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