A Mexican military official confirmed Thursday that eight soldiers have been detained and taken to a military prison for their possible involvement in events surrounding the 2014 disappearance of 43 students from a rural teacher’s college in southern Mexico.
The eight are awaiting the possible filing of charges by civilian prosecutors, said the official, who was not authorized to be quoted by name.
In September, the Attorney General’s Office came under fire for canceling some 21 arrest orders for suspects — including 16 members of the military — without explanation. It was not clear whether the eight arrested this week were among those whose arrest warrants were previously withdrawn.
Security forces abducted the students from buses in Iguala on Sept. 26, 2014, and turned them over to a local drug gang. New revelations implicate the military in the disappearances, but the motive for the students’ abduction remains unclear, though there is growing evidence it may have involved police and military collusion with drug traffickers.
Soldiers charged with abuses against civilians must be tried by civilian courts in Mexico but can be held at military prisons.