(CNN Spanish) — A federal judge based in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas has acquitted José Luis Abarca, former mayor of the municipality of Iguala, of criminal cases of kidnapping and organized crime related to the disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students.
This decision occurs a few weeks after the eight years of the disappearances of the young people.
Judge Samuel Ventura Ramos decided to acquit Abarca, considering that the elements of the crimes of kidnapping and organized crime were not proven.
The Undersecretary for Human Rights, Population and Migration of the Mexican Ministry of the Interior, Alejandro Encinas, tweeted this Wednesday that the Mexican Attorney General has “sufficient elements to appeal this unfortunate act of impunity.”
CNN is trying to contact the Mexican Prosecutor’s Office to confirm whether they will appeal the federal judge’s decision, but the institution has not responded so far.
Abarca was mayor of Iguala, Guerrero, when the Ayotzinapa students disappeared on the night of September 26 and the early morning of September 27, 2014, in that city.
Currently, the former official is imprisoned in the Federal Center for Social Readaptation Number 1 Almoloya, in the State of Mexico.
CNN has tried to contact Abarca’s defense to obtain comments on the acquittal, without receiving a response until this Wednesday.
On August 26, Undersecretary Encinas reported that the former mayor is also under arrest for the murder of activist Arturo Hernández Cardona. Abarca has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.
Encinas said at a press conference on August 18 that the disappearance of the 43 normalistas from Ayotzinapa was “a State crime” in which members of the Guerreros Unidos criminal group “and agents from various institutions of the Mexican State” participated.
According to the official, municipal, state and federal authorities “were aware of the mobilization of the students” from their departure from the Isidro Burgos Normal School in Iguala, Guerrero, until their disappearance. The authorities allowed the disappearance of the 43 people —and the murder of another six people— with their actions, omissions and even participating in the events, says the report.