Saturday, December 6, 2014

Mexico: Investigators ID One of 43 Missing Students

Forensic experts in Argentina have reportedly identified the charred remains of Alexander Mora Venancio, one of forty-three Mexican students missing since September 26th.

According to a post published on December 6th on the Escuela Normal de Ayotzinapa Facebook post, what was left of Mora was found amidst where in a garbage dump where three detained hit men claimed that the young adults where tortured, killed and had their remains burnt.

Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam confirmed the news at a December 7th news conference. He claimed that the remains of the twenty-one-year-old were identified by a team from Austria that compared a bone fragment with the DNA of Venancio's parents.

"Using data from the University of Innsbruck, it was determined that the remains belong to a male with a probability a billion times higher, that’s ‘b’ for billion, of being the biological son of Ezequiel Mora Chavez and the sibling of Omar Mora Venancio and Hugo Mora Venancio than for any other unrelated person,"  asserted Murillo Karam.

He also claimed that the results support his hypothesis presented last month alleging that the students were allegedly kidnapped by police from the town of Iguala and subsequently massacred by a local drug gang.

"This is scientific proof that the remains found at one of the scenes (of the crime) along with the confessions of some of the detained suspects coincide with our investigation," Murillo Karam said.   
Austria team though the result were tipped off to a parent of one of the missing students.

Family members of the missing have accused officials of focusing their investigation on assuming that the students are dead rather than searching for them as alive.

"This state crime will not remain in impunity...Our struggle will continue until we find all of them alive," said Felipe de la Cruz, one of the parents of the missing.  "Starting today we will not recognize the government of (President Enrique Peña Nieto)," added de la Cruz during a Mexico City demonstration.
 Protests have been held throughout Mexico calling for the safe return of the disappeared students, anger at the government's investigation and an end to systemic corruption.  Most of the demonstrations have been peaceful including one last week with farmers riding tractors with images of the disappeared. Nevertheless, police in Mexico City were accused of arbitrarily detaining eleven protesters following a November 20th rally

Peña Nieto publicly expressed his condolences to Mora's family but he's facing the worst political crisis since becoming president two years ago this month.  Critics have assailed him for his attitude going through with an official trip to Asia during the search for the missing Ayotzinapa students and questions over his wife's multimillion dollar mansion.

Mexico's foreign relations ministry issued a statement attempting to downplay the pressure against the government and emphasizing that the issue of the disappeared has not hurt the country's international relations.  Yet rallies in solidarity with the missing have been held around the world including protests last Wednesday in forty-three U.S. cities, or one demonstration for every Ayotzinapa student:
Protests in Mexico and around the world have sought to shed light on the case, which many Mexicans say is just one example of the systematic corruption in the country.

The United States’ vigils hoped to expose this reality and target the Mérida Initiative, which according to the Department of State has appropriated $2.1 billion in funds from the U.S. Congress to fight the Drug War with training, equipment and intelligence since FY 2008.

The #USTired2 campaign, however, argues that Mexico’s extensive human rights violations should render the agreement obsolete. Protesters base their demand on the Leahy Amendment, which states that the Department of State must reassess its assistance to foreign security forces if “gross human rights abuses” have been committed by the recipient.
 Online Sources - El Espectador;; El Universal; Vanguardia; Latin American Herald Tribune; BBC News; Milenio; The Huffington Post

Video Source - YouTube user AFP

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