A state attorney general in Mexico revealed that the five medical students kidnapped and murdered by cartel gunmen were not involved in the drug trade and were simply spending time in a water park. The information contradicts previous claims by Mexico’s president, who tried to divert attention from the mass killing by claiming the victims were trying to buy drugs.
On Friday, Guanajuato Attorney General Carlos Zamarripa Aguirre revealed the mass killing was not tied to the street distribution of drugs and that the victims were “good people.”
The public official said that Mexico’s president was mistaken in claiming that the five victims were trying to buy drugs, adding that his staff was in charge of the investigation and knew firsthand the details. He said President Lopez Obrador read off the wrong information from notecards given to him by his staff.
El fiscal de Guanajuato rechazó que los estudiantes de medicina de #Celaya hayan comprado drogas, como aseguró el presidente @LopezObrador_. Los primeros avances en la investigación indican que los jóvenes fueron sacados de un balneario: pic.twitter.com/HqeHdQ7Yff— Ciro Gómez Leyva (@CiroGomezL) December 8, 2023
Zamarripa said that the students were having fun at a local waterpark when a group of men took them. Later that evening, their bodies were discovered not far from the university campus.
Earlier this week, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had tried to dismiss the case by claiming that the victims were trying to buy drugs.
Tras haberse encontrado a 5 jóvenes asesinados en Celaya, Guanajuato, López Obrador asegura que “tuvo que ver con consumo de drogas” pic.twitter.com/Uohvr5eGcw— El Universal (@El_Universal_Mx) December 6, 2023
“It was because of the consumption they went to buy from someone selling drugs in a turf belonging to another group,” Lopes Obrador said this week, claiming that there wasn’t a problem of drug consumption in other states, and that is what they wanted to avoid.
During his term, Lopez Obrador has been harshly criticized for his refusal to fight drug cartels in a strategy known as hugs, not bullets (abrazos no balazos).
The case began on Sunday in the city of Celaya, Guanajuato, when authorities found a vehicle with five bodies inside. The victims all showed “signs of violence” and had been shot execution style.
The bodies were later determined to be five medical students from a local university who had been spending time at a local waterpark nearby. University officials have since issued various statements expressing their outrage and claiming that the students were not tied to any illegal activities. According to Mexico’s El Universal, during the week, hundreds of students have taken to the streets to peacefully protest the mass killing and demand answers in the latest of several mass killings of innocent students in recent years.