October 25, 2016

Mexico to analyse bones in search of 43 missing students

Relatives of the 43 missing students attend the reading of the final report from the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts in Mexico City. (AFP photo)

IGUALA DE LA INDEPENDENCIA, MEXICO:  Mexico will analyze skeletal remains from an undetermined number of individuals that were found not far from where 43 Mexican students went missing nearly two years ago, officials said Thursday.

Investigators found bone fragments including skulls, shin bones, jawbones and teeth of various people, as well as sandals and pieces of clothing, according to a statement from the prosecutor’s office in the impoverished southern state of Guerrero.

The remains were found late Tuesday in the small town of El Mirador alongside a road linking the towns of Coacoyula and Apipilulco, they said.

News reports said the bone fragments appeared to be from at least four people, and may have been burned. They were reportedly found after an anonymous tip-off.

The Mexican prosecutor’s office said Thursday evening the remains will be examined to determine if they came from the missing students.

There was no immediate confirmation of any link with the missing male students who were enrolled at a rural teachers’ college in Guerrero.

In September 2014, police in the southern city of Iguala attacked a group of buses which had been hijacked by the students for use in a protest.

The students vanished without a trace in a mystery that has roiled this troubled region for the better part of two years.

Prosecutors believe that Iguala police abducted the students and delivered them to a drug gang, which killed them, incinerated their bodies at a garbage dump in the nearby town of Cocula, and tossed their remains into a river.

Independent experts last month released a scathing report however alleging “severe irregularities” in how the government has conducted the investigation, including its handling of evidence.

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