Updated 11:52 AM EST, Tue, Mar 02, 2021

Mexico's Missing 43 Update: Court Charges Former Cocula Mayor Cesar Penaloza

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The ex-Mexican mayor tied to the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico has been charged with links to organized crime.

i24News reported that former Cocula Mayor Cesar Penaloza Santana has been charged by a court for the Sept. 26, 2014, disappearance of 43 students in Iguala, an adjacent city to mayor's locality.

He was reportedly arrested last Dec. 16 for his connection of a criminal group in the Mexican state of Guerrero.

According to BBC, local police officers were also tied to the mysterious disappearance of the students. It also noted that the suspects in the abduction of the students were corrupt officers from the Cocula and Iguala who handed them to a drug gang, which eventually killed them.

It was added in a Newsweek report that the government concluded that the drug gang mistook the students for being members of a rival group.

But just last September, a few days before the first year anniversary of the students' disappearance, a new report on the incident revealed that the initial claim of the Mexican government that these students were burned to death has not enough evidence.

According to Huffington Post, the report was released by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) on Sunday noting that the government's explanation on the abduction of the students "is hopelessly marred and has no basis in forensic science."

The new breakthrough on the case discredited the investigation of the government which banked on false public statements and even led to the torture of key witnesses on the case.

It was also explained in the Huffington Post report that the update has found the possible motive why Mexican security forces attacked the students.

And this was not close to the explanations offered by the administration of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

His government earlier claimed that the police attacked the students to prevent them from participating in a protest. They also said that the students could have been thought to be members of a rival gang.

Now, Huffington Post said the IACHR panel suggests that "the students might have unknowingly commandeered one or more buses carrying heroin or drug money."

It also sparked hope for the parents of the 43 students. Cristina Bustamente told Santa Fe New Mexican that she and other parents thought that they were just going to settle with the explanations of the government on the disappearance of their children.

"We thought, 'The entire country is going to believe what he just said and we will be left alone, no one will go out to the streets and protest anymore,'" Bustamente added.

BBC added that the commission urged the Mexican government to continue looking for these students.

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