Friday, November 7, 2014

Missing Mexican Students Murdered Says Attorney General

Forty-three Mexican students missing for forty-one days were reportedly murdered according to Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam.

At a press conference on Friday, Karam presented videos of two suspects who confessed to allegedly carrying out the killings of the students. They claimed that the students from Ayotzinapa were taken in large trucks to a dump in nearby village of Cocula where some of them where shot dead while others died from bags placed over their heads. The corpses were then thrown into the dump and burned for six to fifteen hours before being disposed into a river.

"The confessions we have gathered ... very sadly point to the murder of a large number of people," said Karam.

Despite the confessions, Karam kept open the investigation while forensics tests are conducted to properly identify the remains.

On September 26th, several dozen students were riding local buses back to their school following a protest over job discrimination in Iguala.  That evening, armed men from the town of Iguala fired upon the buses and killed three passengers while others fled in terror.  Eyewitnesses claimed that local police shot at some of the escaping students while others were caught and bundled into police vehicles.

Prosecutors believe that the Iguala police were working for the local Guerreros Unidos drug gang on orders from the town's recently arrested former mayor. Karam admitted that the new evidence has come from the more than seventy people detained in connection with the disappearances but the ex-mayor has thus far maintained silent.

President Enrique Peña Nieto has been the target of street protesters held over the past month with demonstrators expressing their solidarity with the missing students and ire towards corrupt officials with ties to organized crime.  Peña Nieto on Friday declared that the government will not cease its investigation "until justice is served" and that the violence in Iguala "angered all of Mexican society.

Following Karam's comments, parents of the missing students held their own press conference in Ayotzinapa where they criticized Peña Nieto for going on a shortened state visit to Asia. One of the parents, Felipe de la Cruz, also rejected the Attorney General's remarks:
"We went to say to the media that we do not accept what (Karam) said, which is why we have an Argentine (investigating) team and we await their results.  (The government) is trying to sweep up the information...we know that the students are alive."
Video Source - euronews via YouTube (Video uploaded on November 6, 2014)

Online Sources - NBC News; El Universal (Mexico); The Latin Americanist; Milenio

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