[JURIST] Mexican authorities have arrested a hit man for the Guerreros Unidos gang in connection with disappearance and alleged massacre of 43 students from a teacher-training college in Ayotzinapa, in the state of Guerrero. The Mexican government believes the students were killed [DPA news report] by the Guerreros Unidos gang after being handed over to the group by local police in the city of Iguala. Prosecutors say the gang killed the students believing them to be members of rival gang, after which they incinerated their bodies and scattered the ashes in a local river. Only one set of remains has been identified despite the efforts [BBC report] of leading scientists in Austria. Mexican police and army have arrested nearly 100 people in connection with the disappearance including members of Guerreros Unidos, Iguala police, the mayor of Iguala and his wife.
The disappearance of these 43 students has brought about global condemnation and criticism of the Mexican government. Last week Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] criticized [JURIST report] the government of Mexico for their “failed” investigation of the army in the “enforced disappearance” of the 43 students. At the beginning of January Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] implored [JURIST report] US President Barack Obama [official profile] to press Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto [official profile, in Spanish] on human rights concerns during his upcoming meeting with the leader. In November 2014 Jose Luis Abarca, the former mayor of the Mexican city of Iguala, was charged [JURIST report] with six counts of aggravated homicide and one count of attempted homicide by prosecutors in the state of Guerrero in connection with the 43 students’ disappearance.