Mexico Declares 43 Missing Students Dead

AG says Iguala protesters were killed, incinerated
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 27, 2015 10:15 PM CST
Updated Jan 28, 2015 12:30 AM CST
Mexico Declares 43 Missing Students Dead
A protester holds a picture of one of the 43 missing students from a rural teachers college as he arrives at a march in Mexico City earlier this week.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

Investigators are now certain that 43 college students missing since September were killed and incinerated after they were seized by police in southern Guerrero state, the Mexican attorney general says. It was the first time Jesus Murillo Karam has said all the students are definitely dead. Mexican authorities have DNA identification for only one student and a laboratory in Austria has declared that it appears impossible to identify the others. The attorney general cited confessions and forensic evidence from an area near a garbage dump where the Sept. 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," Murillo Karam said in a press conference that included a video reconstruction of the mass slaying. He added that "there is not a single shred of evidence that the army intervened" as relatives of the victims have claimed. The attorney general has come under attack from many quarters, including the students' relatives and fire experts, who say the government's version of what happened is implausible. Family members are still searching in hopes of finding the students alive. So far 99 people have been detained in connection with the crime, including the former mayor of Iguala and his wife, whose brothers were leading members of the Guerreros Unidos drug gang. (More Mexico stories.)

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