Suspects in Mexico's missing students' case allege torture

Mexico City, May 12 : Some of the suspects arrested in connection with the disappearance of 43 education students in Mexico last year are alleging that they were tortured, the group of IACHR experts investigating the case said.

The torture allegations made by the suspects will be investigated, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said on Monday.

Mexico City

The experts have met with 16 of the suspects, who include more than 100 police officers, corrupt officials and drug traffickers, and "there was a relatively numerous group" that "did tell us they'd suffered abuse and torture," Carlos Beristain said.

Beristain is a Spanish member of the IACHR team.

"We consider that the legal guarantees, an exhaustive analysis of these charges, is essential for keeping this from creating more problems down the road," he said during a press conference.

Five independent experts are in Mexico on their third visit investigating the September 26 disappearance of 43 education students in Iguala at the hands of municipal police acting on orders from corrupt local officials on the payroll of drug traffickers.

Iguala is a city in the state of Guerrero.

The press conference was attended by another of the experts, former Guatemalan Attorney General Claudia Paz.

The possibility that "the rights of the suspects have not been respected would be very negative for the case and that would have legal consequences," Beristain said.

About a dozen complaints of torture or violations of due process rights in the case have been filed with the Mexican National Human Rights Commission, he added.

The IACHR, which became involved in the case in March, is not expected to release its findings until August or September.

Iguala municipal police officers fired gunshots at students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School, a nearby teacher-training facility, on the night of September 26, Mexican officials say.

Six people died that night, 25 were wounded and 43 students were detained by police and then handed over to members of the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel.

Three suspects in the case -- Patricio Reyes, Jhonatan Osorio and Agustin Garcia -- confessed to having killed the students and burnt their bodies.

Reyes, Osorio and Garcia told investigators they took the bodies of the 43 students to the Cocula dump and set them on fire.

The Federal Police made the last major arrest in the case last Thursday, when former Iguala deputy police chief Francisco Salgado Valladares was captured.


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