Ayotzinapa: It Was the Army
‘The True Night of Iguala’, Book by Anabel Hernandez
Aristegui Noticias: On the orders of a drug cartel capo, soldiers of the 27th Infantry Battalion carried out an operation to retrieve a shipment of heroin with an estimated value of $2 million dollars, which was hidden in two buses taken by the Ayotzinapa normal school students in the Iguala bus station on the evening of September 26, 2014. So the book ‘The True Night of Iguala’ reveals.
Based on interviews with a key Guerrero drug trafficker and the direct testimony of others, the journalist, Anabel Hernández, broadens and deepens what was previously reported in the magazine Proceso, on how the Battalion took control of Iguala during the hours that the 43 youths from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School were disappeared, whose fate is still unknown.
Hernández received a hitherto hidden document from the PGR [Attorney General's Office], in which the General Inspector of the agency called for an investigation of the 27 Infantry Battalion. By presidential orders, the investigation was stopped, the journalist says. César Chávez Alejandro Flores, the visitor who drew up the "legal technical evaluation", was forced to submit his resignation to the Attorney General last September.
The document PGR obtained by the reporter, states: "It is instructed … that the investigation be extended with respect to Captain José Martínez Crespo such that he testify about the allegations that have been made regarding his possible links with organized crime and the result be sent to the Deputy Attorney General for Specialized Investigation of Organized Crime (SEIDO)."
In addition, it instructs that there be an assessment of the possible "remiss behaviour that may have been incurred by 27th Infantry Battalion staff, based in Iguala, Guerrero," in order "to have data and sufficient evidence to widen the investigation regarding possible crimes which could be attributed to them, such as concealment, abuse of authority or any other unlawful act in the exercise of their functions."
If the case of Ayotzinapa rocked the country, ‘The True Night of Iguala’ represents another jolt of great significance.
The collaboration of the military with drug traffickers is revealed in the book: "On the night of September 26, 2014, a drug dealer with a significant level of operations in Guerrero, who was in Iguala, was informed that students from the Ayotzinapa Normal School were aboard two buses in which a shipment of heroin with a value of at least two million dollars was hidden. The students did not know that they were traveling with the precious cargo and that their destiny was bound to it.
"Although the capo was accustomed to trafficking several tons of heroin, the amount that the buses were carrying was not small, and he could not allow that theft, although it was accidental. If he tolerated it, control of his turf would be lost.
"’If you kill for twenty thousand dollars, then for two million? It’s a way of operating. The recovery of the merchandise was a matter of money and an issue of authority, if the robbery were allowed, then there would be more,’ explained one credible informant with whom several meetings were held during fifteen months of this investigation.
"The drug trafficker in question had at least eight years working in the state, first as a collaborator with Arturo Beltrán Leyva, with whom he smuggled drugs into the United States as a minority partner. He eventually acquired more power, and managed to maintain a discreet profile; his name is never mentioned in the criminal cases of other members of that cartel.
"In 2009, when Arturo Beltrán Leyva was killed [by the military] in Cuernavaca, the boss decided to continue with his own operations, using Guerrero as a basis. In order to have control of the area, he had on his payroll soldiers from the 27th and 41st Infantry Battalions, Federal Police, Guerrero State Ministerial [investigative] Police, Federal Ministerial Police, Iguala Municipal Police and various officials from nearby municipalities, as well as in the mountains, where poppies are grown and processed into heroin.
"When the loss of the precious cargo was reported to him, the boss would have made a call to the infantry Colonel José Rodríguez Pérez, Commander of the 27th Battalion, asking him to recover the goods at any cost. The Army was the security force that had the most authority in the city. Perhaps the drug trafficker didn’t realize the magnitude of the operation to recover the drugs.
"’The Army itself was the one that led the operation to rescue the drugs,’ said the source of information who was aware of the facts.
"The expert ballistics studies obtained in this investigation, as well as the way the facts fit together, suggests that the Estrella de Oro buses #1568 and #1531 were loaded with drugs and were the target of attacks that night. They stopped the first at the intersection of Juan N. Alvarez and Periferico Norte [North Ring Road] and the second on the Iguala-Mezcala road near the Palace of Justice, with the help of the Municipal Police of Iguala Huitzuco and Cocula and of the Federal Police and the Ministerial Police of Guerrero.
"According to this version, at the time the military rescued the drugs from the buses, the students on board would have realized what they were extracting from the compartments, an unforeseen event that suddenly detonated the need to disappear them so as not to leave witnesses."
‘The Real Night of Iguala’ indicates that the drug trafficker sought only to recover the merchandise and "left everything in the hands of the military." "No drug cartel ignites its own turf … that’s absurd," the journalist told Aristegui Noticias. … [the Spanish article gives further recounting of details of the night and evidence collected.]
The book, published by Penguin Random House, under its Grijalbo label, will be released at the beginning of next week and will be presented on December 1 at the Guadalajara International Book Fair.