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Police arrest man who is believed connected to case of 43 missing students

Guerrero, Mexico — After more than three years, police arrest a man they believe is connected to the 43 missing students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College in 2014.

Officials from the Investigation Division of the Federal Police captured Erick Uriel Sandoval Rodríguez for his alleged involvement in the disappearance of the 43 males students.

Information of the arrest was made public by the Secretary of the Interior, Alfonso Navarrete. Through a social media platform, the secretary said that the capture was made “in compliance with a judicial mandate.”

“I congratulate the elements of the Investigation Division of the Federal Police of Mexico for the arrest of Erick Uriel Sandoval Rodríguez, allegedly related to the disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa students, who was captured in compliance with a court order,” Navarrete wrote.

Uriel is indicated as one of the people who had contact with the 43 students of Ayotzinapa before their disappearance and for his alleged relationship with the former mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca.

Alfredo Higuera Beltrán, head of the Investigation Office for the Iguala Case of the PGR indicated that for “Erick and others involved” the PGR was offering a reward of 1.5 million peso.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, the arrest took place in the state of Guerrero. No other details were released.

In the months following the September 2014 forced disappearance of the students, Mexican authorities arrested Iguala’s mayor, José Luis Abarca Velázquez and his wife María de los Ángeles Pineda Villa, who were accused of masterminding the abduction.

Shortly after the abduction, the pair fled the area but were arrested in Mexico City.

Felipe Flores Velásquez, Iguala’s police chief, was also arrested in the southern state of Guerrero, but not until October of 2016. Social unrest led to attacks on government buildings. Due to statewide protests, the Governor of Guerrero, Ángel Aguirre Rivero, also resigned.

Numerous reports circulated linking government officials, federal police and military personnel with the case.