By H. Nelson Goodson
October 18, 2014
Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico - On Thursday, the U.S. Embassy in a news release warned Americans to avoid a mega-march planned for Friday morning in Acapulco and those U.S. citizens who choose to participate would be subject to arrest and deportation proceedings by Mexican immigration and customs. "The Mexican Constitution prohibits political activities by foreigners, such actions could result in detention and/or deportation," the U.S. Embassy warned.
Mayors from 16 of 18 municipalities reported a shut down of their government offices in anticipation of the mega-march to avoid unnecessary confrontations with area protesters who have been advocating the release of the 43 missing students by the Guerreros Unidos (GU) criminal organization. The GU have bought off several corrupt mayors from Cocula and Iguala municipalities including some members of their police force to carry out extortions, kidnappings, torture and murders for the criminal group.
On Friday, thousands of students, teachers and activists participated in a mega-march seeking justice for the killing of at least six people including students and the kidnapping of 43 students, which are still missing since September 26.
Sidronio Casarrubias Salgado, one the main leaders of the criminal organization the Guerreros Unidos was taken into custody on Friday in the state of Mexico by federal police and military, according to Jesús Murillo Karam, the Mexican federal Attorney General. Salgado's arrest could provide information about the whereabouts of the 43 students that were reported missing from Iguala since September 26.
So far, more than 50 suspects have been detained including 14 municipal police officers from Cocula, 22 municipal police officers from Iguala, 16 members of the Guerreros Unidos including several of its leaders, Salgado and Salomón Pineda, aka, "El Molón."
Cocula Mayor César Miguel Peñaloza was also arrested in connection with the missing students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos school in Ayotizanapa.
The federal and state attorney general's office are searching for Iguala Mayor José Luis Abarca Velázquez, his wife, María de los Ángeles Pineda and Felipe Flores Velázquez, Iguala's Public Security Director who have disappeared and went into hiding after the students were kidnapped and some were brutally tortured and killed. Abarca Velázquez, Pineda Villa and Flores Velázquez have been implicated in the students murders. At least nine clandestine graves have been discovered and 28 bodies have been recovered. An additional four mass graves have been uncovered and authorities are investigating, if the remains recovered are some of the missing students.
In an unrelated homicide, Mayor Abarca Velázquez is also accused of personally killing Arturo Hernández Cardona, the leader of the United Popular organization from Guerrero in late May to early June 2013, according to a notarized affidavit from Nicolás Mendoza who witnessed the cold blooded murder by Abarca Velázquez. Abarca Velázquez shot Cardona in the face and chest while saying "I'm going to have the pleasure of killing you" as Flores Velázquez watched, according to Mendoza. Félix Rafael Bandera Román and Ángel Román Ramírez were also killed. Román attemped to escape and was fatally shot and Ramírez tried to run from another location where the remaining five kidnapped victims were taken to be executed. The victims had been tortured and beaten for several days. Mayor Abarca Velázquez and Flores Velázquez were not charged for the murders in 2013 because the Guerrero state Attorney General's Office filed the case and didn't act. Federal prosecutor, Karam confirmed to Aristegui that René Bejarano from the PRD political party had mentioned Mayor Abarca Velázquez 2013 Cardona murder case to him when Bejarano was at the federal Attorney's General Office talking to Karam for a different issue, but Bejarano never gave Karam the file and evidence to prosecute Abarca Velázquez as he promised. Karam has now taken up the Cardona, Román and Ramírez murder case against Mayor Abarca Velázquez. If Abarca Velázquez would have been prosecuted by the Guerrero state Attorney General's Office for the Cardona, Román and Ramírez murders in 2013, the Iguala student massacre could have been avoided, according to Karam.
A $1M pesos ($77K U.S.) reward is being offered by the state of Guerrero for information leading to finding the 43 Iguala missing students.