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12 de noviembre de 2014 | Testimonios
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What happened to the 43 missing students in Mexico? Below are some of the keys to the case, which has tarnished the country’s international reputation by showing the level of disregard for human rights there, alongside some perspectives on the incident shared from the streets.
Regarding the 43 disappeared students in the Mexican municipality of Iguala, on November 7 Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam shared some details regarding their murder and the subsequent burning of their remains. Among these:
1 - The students disappeared on September 26th after being detained by local police officers working with a gang known as “Guerreros Unidos,” or United Warriors, in Iguala, some 200 kilometers south of Mexico City, in the state of Guerrero. That night, there were an additional six killed and 25 wounded in clashes with police. The students, attendees of a local teaching college, sought to disrupt a political event put on by the mayor of Iguala to ask for money. Hoping to avoid an embarrassing demonstration, the mayor and his wife requested their arrests.
2 - In the course of the investigations to find the missing 43 students and bring those responsible for their disappearance to justice, on November 4th authorities arrested Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca Velazquez, and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda Villa, in the Mexico City neighborhood of Iztapalapa. At least 70 people have been detained in the case.
3 - Since October 4th at least 38 bodies have been found in hidden graves. The Attorney General’s Office believes that at least 30 of them do not belong to any of the missing students, although their families have asked an Argentine forensic team to verify the results of DNA testing.
4 - Attorney General Murillo Karam announced on November 7 that three people had provided new evidence in the case. They confessed to having killed a group of people in the municipality of Cocula on September 26.
5 - The new suspects in custody, members of Guerreros Unidos, confessed to having rounded up and executed the group off students in Cocula, Guerrero. “I know the enormous pain this information must cause,” said the attorney general. “The suspects have revealed where they threw the bodies in the ravine, they were given orders to retrieve them and bring them to the San Juan River,” he said.
6 - These claims led to the discovery of a new set of badly decomposed bodies in a third grave in a dump on the outskirts of Cocula. The attorney general explained that there were burnt human remains there, as well as others found in bags. Some of the victims were alive when burnt, he said. The fire had been fueled by tires, diesel and gas poured directly on the bodies. Around 15 people reportedly died of asphyxiation before arriving at the dump.
7 - Despite the fact that all evidence points to the discovered remains belonging to the missing students, the attorney general cautioned that officials still could not confirm this. The bodies were sent to a group of forensic scientists in Austria for DNA testing.
8 - On Friday, November 7th, Mexican authorities announced the arrest of three people who revealed key details about the missing students.
9 - On Saturday, November 8th, the attorney general confirmed that the suspects had revealed that those in custody had confirmed that the students were murdered and later burned in a Cocula dump, and that some were still living when first lit on fire.
On Saturday and Sunday, students, teachers and Mexican civil society in general carried out various demonstrations in the wake of the statements that appear to signal the close of this horrifying case.
Este jueves se cumple un año del asesinato de la dirigente lenca Berta Cáceres en Honduras, y los grupos de Amigos de la Tierra Internacional (ATI) se movilizarán en decenas de países a partir de hoy, en el marco de una Semana de Acción que tendrá como cierre el 8 de marzo, Día Internacional de la Mujer.
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