MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican authorities issued dozens of arrest warrants for police and soldiers on Saturday who they believe may have participated in the 2014 disappearance of 43 Mexican college students, head of the investigation said.
Omar Gomez, head of the special prosecutor's office for the case, told a new conference in Mexico City the warrants had been issued for the "material and intellectual authors" of the crime, including military members, and federal and municipal police.
The Mexican military did not respond to initial requests for comment.
Saturday marks the first time Mexican authorities have announced arrest warrants for military personnel. Reuters reported earlier in the week that arrest warrants were imminent.
The students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers' College disappeared on September 26, 2014, in the state of Guerrero. The remains of only two of the students have been positively identified so far.
The unsolved kidnapping of the young men who were training to be teachers convulsed the country, sparking massive protests in 2014 and garnering international condemnation as one of the darkest examples of the government’s longstanding difficulty preventing violence or convicting those responsible.
Family members of the victims have long accused Mexican authorities, including the military, of complicity in the students' disappearance.
"The military participated," Maria Martinez Zeferino, the mother of one of the disappeared students, said during Saturday's news conference at the National Palace in Mexico City.
(Reporting by Liz Diaz and Adriana Barrera, writing by Laura Gottesdiener; editing by Diane Craft)
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