Mexico Investigators Say Missing Students Killed
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Investigators in Mexico said they are now certain that 43 college students missing since September were killed and incinerated after they were seized by police in southern Guerrero state.
It was the first time Mexican attorney general Jesus Murillo Karam said definitely that all were dead, even though Mexican authorities have DNA identification for only one student.
A laboratory in Innsbruck, Austria, which examined DNA samples believed to be linked to the case, declared it was impossible to identify the others.
The attorney general cited confessions and forensic evidence from an area near a garbage dump where the September 26 crime occurred that showed the fuel and temperature of the fire were sufficient to turn 43 bodies into ashes.
"The evidence allows us to determine that the students were kidnapped, killed, burned and thrown into the river," Karam said in a news conference that included a video reconstruction of the mass slaying and of the investigation into the case.
He added that "there is not a single shred of evidence that the army intervened ... not a single shred of evidence of the participation of the army," as relatives of the victims have claimed.
Karam said the motive was that the members of a local gang, the Guerreros Unidos, mistakenly believed the young men were rival gang members when they hijacked some public transit buses in Iguala.
The links between the police who allegedly seized the group and the local gang members remain unclear but many of the suspects testified that they knew the men were students, Press TV reported.
The students, known for commandeering buses and taking over toll booths to support their leftist causes, said they were taking the buses for transport to an upcoming demonstration in Mexico City.
Karam's explanation seemed unlikely to quell the controversy and doubts about the case, in which the federal government has been criticised for acting slowly and callously.
Thousands of people demonstrated in Mexico City Monday night, demanding the students be returned alive.