US hands over missing student suspect to Mexico

US authorities turned over a prime suspect in the 2014 disappearance of 43 college students to Mexico after the man was caught trying to cross the border without proper documents on December 20.

exico’s National Immigration Institute identified the man by his first name only, but a federal agent later on Thursday confirmed he was Alejandro Tenescalco. The institute said he failed to qualify for asylum in the United States.

Tenescalco was a police warden in the city of Iguala, where the students at a rural teacher’s college were kidnapped by the city police. Investigations suggest the corrupt police handed the students over to a drug gang, which killed them and burned their bodies.

Alejandro Encinas, the head of the government’s truth commission, has called Tenescalco “one of the main perpetrators” of the crime.

He is charged with kidnapping and organized crime. The Mexican government had offered a $500,000 (£404,000) reward for his arrest.

In 2022, the Truth Commission declared enforced disappearances a “state crime” because authorities at all levels of government were involved in the enforced disappearances and cover-up.

The investigation led to the arrest of three soldiers, including a now-retired general who had been an army commander in the area at the time of the kidnappings.

Then-Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam was also accused of fabricating the government’s original account based on torture and evidence tampering.

But some charges against dozens of other suspects were dropped over tainted evidence. US hands over missing student suspect to Mexico

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