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Zerón accused of torturing four key detainees

Gustavo Castillo and Cesar Arellano

Newspaper La Jornada
Monday, August 22, 2022, p. 3

Bernardo Cano Muñozcano, private secretary of the fugitive former director of the Criminal Investigation Agency (AIC) Tomás Zerón de Lucio, has been a key player in the investigations of the Iguala case, since his statements allowed former officials to be accused, including his former chief and prosecutor Gualberto Ramírez Gutiérrez, former anti-kidnapping coordinator of the former Deputy Attorney General’s Office Specialized in Organized Crime Investigation (Seido).

During the initial hearing against the former head of the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) Jesús Murillo Karam, there were allegations that Zerón de Lucio and Ramírez Gutiérrez committed acts of torture against four detainees considered fundamental in what is known as the historical truthbecause they were the ones who, subdued by the authorities, said what supposedly happened in the Cocula garbage dump and in the San Juan River.

At the hearing, the prosecutor Lydia Bustamante commented that, according to evidence, the then head of the AIC led a diligence in the river, during which two plastic bags with bone remains were found, which supposedly corresponded to the students whose bodies they were incinerated in the municipal garbage dump of Cocula.

Zerón was then accompanied by officials from the Expert Services of the PGR and Agustín García Reyes, The Cherejearrested on October 27, 2014.

The day before that arrest, a supposedly anonymous call to the PGR warned that the 43 Ayotzinapa students had been killed and burned in the garbage dump and their ashes later thrown into the river. However, in the investigation it has been considered that these tests were planted.

The diligence led by Zerón, according to the accusations, was carried out illegally, since García Reyes was transferred from the PGR facilities to Cocula without his lawyer and in breach of legal protocols. The prosecutor said that during the visit to Iguala they were telling the detainee what to do and what to say.

They planted evidence

Bustamante added that a journalist free cast in Guerrero captured the images of when, one day before the formal procedure, they gave The Chereje the bags with remains that are later left next to the San Juan River and that allowed the identification of one of the victims.

Thomas Zeron inflicted serious suffering and human rights violations of the detainees who were tortured, pointed out the agent of the Public Ministry.

Ramírez Gutiérrez was head of the Seido’s Specialized Unit for the Investigation of Kidnapping Crimes, one of the branches of the then PGR. He was present at an interrogation conducted by Zerón de Lucio, where according to investigations it is presumed that he tortured four people, including Felipe Rodríguez Salgado, alias The brushdesignated as a member of the criminal group United Warriorsto confess responsibility for the disappearance of the normalistas, in September 2014.

In this case, the former director of the AIC is a fugitive, with an arrest warrant for torture and crimes against the administration of justice.

In 2020 Zerón was located in Israel, whose government Mexico requested the return of the former official.

There is no extradition treaty between the two countries, but there is a legal cooperation agreement. The Mexican government alleges that Israel must meet the demand, given that the fugitive is accused of human rights violations.

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