Mexico: Missing Students Not Found in Mass Graves

First 28 bodies unearthed may be earlier cartel victims
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 15, 2014 3:54 AM CDT
Mexico: Missing Students Not Found in Mass Graves
Fliers printed with the faces of some of the 43 missing students and reading "You took them alive. We want them back alive" hang on a fence in front of the National Palace in Mexico City.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Authorities testing remains found in nine mass graves in southern Mexico have yet to find any of 43 students from a teachers college who disappeared after a confrontation with police, security officials say. None was among 28 bodies, some badly burned, that were unearthed a week after the Sept. 26 attack, a government spokesman says. Forensic investigators continued to test other remains and announced the discovery of yet another mass grave yesterday. An additional 14 police officers have been arrested and confessed to participating in the disappearance, bringing the total number of detainees to 50. The local drug cartel, Guerrero Unidos, is believed to have worked with police in disappearing the students.

The governor of Guerrero state says the bodies at the first site appeared to have been buried for some time, suggesting they belonged to earlier victims of criminal gangs. Officials also say an alleged leader of Guerreros Unidos killed himself during a confrontation with Mexican security forces yesterday. Federal forces were carrying out an operation to capture Benjamin Mondragon, or "Benjamon," when a gunfight broke out, officials say. Mondragon apparently killed himself as he was about to be arrested, though officials offered no details on how and said it was unclear whether he was involved in the students' disappearances. (More Mexico stories.)

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