Saturday, October 18, 2014
Arrest of Guerreros Unidos boss brings few answers in case of missing students
Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murrillo Karam said Friday that the detention by federal authorities of Sidronio Casarrubias Salgado, allegedly the highest in command of the violent Guerreros Unidos drug cartel, would "open a new route to get to the truth" about the disappearance of 43 college students in Iguala on Sept. 26, an event which continues to dominate headlines and political agendas throughout the nation.
Casarrubias was taken into custody Thursday night near Toluca, capital of the State of Mexico (EDOMEX), bordering the Federal District.
"He says he was informed of the situation with the students, but he didn't order (their kidnapping), and neither did he oppose it. He won't say just what he ordered, although he denies having directed any violence against them. I can't tell you more, because it could affect our pending investigation," Karam told a press conference yesterday.
The attorney general said it is still unclear why Iguala municipal police turned the students over to cartel executioners.
Casarrubias, who has used various aliases, served jail time in the U.S. according to sources here.
Federal prosecutors say the Guerreros Unidos cartel was spawned from a schism within the Beltrán Leyva cartel, whose leader was himself captured in San Miguel de Allende Oct. 1. Guerreros Unidos also operates in EDOMEX and Morelos state. Karam called the group "very dangerous."
Karam emphasized again that the detention of Iguala mayor José Luis Abarca remains one of the administration's top priorities in the ongoing investigation. "If I found him right now, I'd arrest him right now," said the attorney general. Both Abarca and his wife are alleged to have been heavily involved withe the Guerrero narcotics trafficking industry. Karam said Mexico has placed Abarca's name on the Interpol most wanted list. The mayor abandoned his post Sept. 30 and hasn't been seen since.
Earlier this week federal authorities claimed that the Guerreros Undidos chief financial officer paid $44,000 monthly to Abarca and his Iguala police chief, "to keep the state calm" and to allow the cartel to operate unimpeded. Casarrubias has confirmed that, according to Karam. At least 36 police officers from the region where the students vanished are in federal custody, 18 of whom have been accused of being full fledged members of Guerreros Unidos.
Nov. 7 - All hope fades for families of 43 missing students
Oct. 11 - Guerrero's Gov. Aguirre says 43 missing students "may yet turn up alive"
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at 10:41 AM