US authorities handed over a key suspect in 2014 kidnapping and murder of 43 students to their Mexican counterparts after attempting to cross the border without proper documentation.
Mexico’s National Institute of Immigration identified the man only by his first name, but a federal agent confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday that it was Alejandro Tenescalco. The institute said he had not been granted asylum in the United States.
Tenescalco, a former Mexican policeman, was caught crossing the border on December 20.
He was a police supervisor in Iguala, a town in State of Chilpancingo where students from a rural normal school were taken away by the municipal police. Mexican authorities have suggested that corrupt police handed over the students to a drug gang, who killed them and burned their bodies.
Alejandro Encinas, the head of the government’s Truth Commission, called Tenescalco “one of the main perpetrators” of the crime.
He faces kidnapping and organized crime charges. The Mexican government had offered $500,000 for his arrest.
The murder of the students sparked international outrage and became an example of the violence endemic by cheeky drug gangs and corruption throughout Mexico.
Investigations led to the arrest of three soldiers, including a now retired general who was the army commander in the area at the time of the abductions. Additionally, then-federal attorney general Jesús Murillo Karam was accused of fabricating the government’s original narrative based on torture and manipulation of evidence.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.