Mexico asks Israel for the extradition of Tomas Zeron, former Criminal Investigation Agency chief

Tomas Zeron (shown September 2015 in a handout picture released by Mexico's General Attorney's office), who was head of the Criminal Investigation Agency, is in Canada and work is underway to extradite him (AFP Photo/HO)

The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has reported this Friday that he has sent a request to the Government of Israel requesting the extradition of Tomás Zerón, former director of the now-defunct Criminal Investigation Agency, for his involvement in torturing witnesses in the case of Ayotzinapa.

“Our country suffered the most serious historical attacks on its Human Rights when, in 2014, 43 normalista students were disappeared in a brutal and ruthless action in which members of organized crime and authorities agreed,” reads the letter that López Obrador has sent to the prime minister. Israeli, Naftali Bennet.

The letter, which has been read by the Undersecretary of Human Rights, Alejandro Encinas, indicates that Zerón is “the official who, from one of the highest levels, operated this criminal pact, committing, among other crimes, that of torture.”

Zerón, who served as a senior official during the administration of former President Enrique Peña Nieto, “has been charged by a judge through an arrest warrant that is ratified by Interpol,” Encinas has read.

Encinas has participated together with López Obrador in the morning appearance that the president usually grants every morning, this time from the state of Morelos. “We want the support of the Government of Israel because it is a person who carried out acts of torture, serious violations of Human Rights and we are sure that they will act accordingly,” said the president.

In August 2019, Zerón fled to Israel from Canada and since then the Mexican authorities have tried to obtain his extradition, not only for a crime of torture but also for manipulating evidence and the crime scene in which the remains were found. of the students who were murdered in September 2014 in the state of Guerrero.

According to Mexican authorities, Zerón is responsible for the torture of some of the witnesses in this case, including that of a hitman from ‘Guerreros Unidos’, the drug trafficking organization implicated in these crimes, to support the official version of the Peña government. Grandson known as ‘historical truth’.

In turn, Zerón, who has always denied the accusations, is accused of having embezzled 50 million dollars from the public treasury of the funds destined for the Criminal Investigation Agency that he directed.

The 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Normal School, in the state of Guerrero, disappeared at dawn on September 27, 2014, in the neighboring municipality of Iguala during a protest against local authorities.

The first official version was that they were surprised by the Los Rojos criminal organization, as part of a settling of accounts between rival groups, and that the hitmen killed and cremated them and disposed of their remains in the Cocula garbage dump, facts later refuted by a new investigation.

PUBLISHED CONVERSATIONS OF THE CASE

López Obrador had ordered the publication of communications and relevant information about the case, so this Friday the Commission for Truth and Access to Justice (COVAJ) has published two conversations, which the Ministry of Defense has delivered and in which it is revealed how the Guerrero Police authorities handed over the normalistas to the head of Guerreros Unidos, Gilberto ‘El Gil’ López Astudillo.

The documents point to conversations that took place between September 14 and October 4, 2014 between the former deputy director of the Iguala Police Francisco Salgado Valladares and the former director of Public Security of the municipality Felipe Flores Vázquez with ‘El Gil’ and two other individuals, Alejandro Palacios ‘Cholo’ and ‘Ramón’.

In the conversations, a person identified by the authorities as Ignacio informs ‘El Gil’ that he already has several “ayotzinapos” detained, to which the other asks him to “pass some” to “collect them on the way to Pueblo Viejo. “.

“There are 21 people on the bus that is going to leave”, Ignacio responds, according to the published documents, to add that he has “another 17 in the cave”, to which ‘El Gil’ asks that he hand over to “everyone”, while the He first proposes to say that the Iguala Police did not make any arrests.

Thus, the conversations narrate the orders of the municipal authorities involved that advise on how to receive the normalistas, collects the Mexican media ‘El Universal’.

A second conversation involves a municipal policeman from Tepecoacuilco and ‘Cholo’, who participated in the attacks, and it addresses the discovery of the clandestine graves made by ‘El Gil’.

After the dissemination of the conversations, the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center has warned that it is a “risk” that information about an ongoing investigation is published because “it may compromise its success” and “opens lines investigation, including on perpetrators and whereabouts, which have yet to be exhausted. “

“As members of the COVAJ we do not participate in the decision to publish the documents in this way,” said the center, which has pointed out the “military opacity” and has not ruled out that the commission has “more information in its possession.”

“Given the possibility that it is about illegal communication interventions carried out by the Army, the origin of the same must be fully clarified,” he claimed, while condemning that with this dissemination it is confirmed that the Mexican Army concealed information about the case.

The New York Times published an article where it is reported that the extradition process of Tomás Zerón is stalled due to a diplomatic conflict between Mexico and Israel.

In this regard, President López Obrador commented that the Secretary of Foreign Relations, Marcelo Ebrard sent a diplomatic note to address the alleged obstruction of the extradition of Zerón de Lucio.

“That they are supposedly protecting him in Israel and they do not want to authorize the extradition or the mechanism for him to be extradited because Mexico voted in favor of peace and that there be no intervention in Palestine and that in retaliation they are not going to send Mr. Zerón. Marcelo Ebrard sent a note on this to the government of Israel and the Israeli ambassador in Mexico, he clarified that it was not an official position, in any case there was a clarification from the Israeli ambassador ”, he commented.

This week, the name of Tomás Zerón was mentioned again because it was with his signature that the then-Attorney General’s Office hired the spy service Pegasus 

, with which calls from today’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, his wife, were intervened. and family members, as well as politicians, journalists, diplomats and activists.

Source: politica.expansion.mx

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