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Bodies Found in Southwest Mexico Aren't Those of Missing Ayotzinapa Students

Portraits of missing Mexican students with carnations in a symbolic act in front of the Mexican Embassy in Bogota, Colombia on Nov. 7. Photo from Agencia Prensa Rural's Flickr account. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Portraits of missing Mexican students with carnations in a symbolic act in front of the Mexican Embassy in Bogota, Colombia on Nov. 7. Photo from Agencia Prensa Rural's Flickr account. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Remains found in a garbage dump in Cerro Viejo, La Parota and Cocula in the Mexican state of Guerrero are not those of the 43 missing students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers’ College of Ayotzinapa, Argentinian forensic experts working on the case have announced.

News network TeleSur Mexico issued a special report on the news:

Video: Remains found are not from Ayotzinapa's students: Argentinian forensic specialists http://tlsur.net/1xhkKpi #AyotzinapaSomosTodos

Since the first weeks of October, the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF, in Spanish) has been investigating the illegal mass graves located in the municipalities of Iguala and Colula in the south of Mexico at the request of the victims’ families. There, six people were killed, 25 wounded and 43 disappeared on September 26 in an assault by Iguala’s police forces and the criminal group Guerreros Unidos.

The EAAF underlined in a press release announcing their results:

Cabe señalar que sobre la totalidad de restos recuperados en este sitio, 28 de ellos fueron recuperados inicialmente por la PGJ (Fiscalía General) de Guerrero de cinco fosas y los dos restantes por la PGR (Procuraduría General de la República) de una sexta fosa

It is important to point out that out of the total number of remains found in this place, 28 were recovered initially from five graves by Guerrero’s PGJ (the district attorney’s office), and the remaining two by the PGR (the attorney general's office) from a sixth grave.

According to Mexico’s attorney general Jesús Murillo Karam, the students were killed, their bodies burned, and their ashes thrown into the San Juan river, close to the garbage dump in Colula. These statements were mainly based on confessions, causing disbelief, anger and indignation among family members and Mexicans because they were issued without any kind of certainty — the bodies have not been found.

The day of their disappearance, the Ayutzinapa students were going to raise funds for their activities. This meant asking for donations on central streets, entering a few stores and even cutting across a main avenue, according to the Spanish journal El País. Last year in June, the students blamed Iguala’s mayor José Luis Abarca Velázquez for the murder and torture of rural leader Arturo Hernández Cardona and attacked the city council building.

Authorities have identified Abarca and his wife, María de los Ángeles Pineda, as the ones who ordered the violence against the students, and were captured November 4.

Meanwhile, the students remain missing, as Tatosky tweeted:

Argentinian forensic experts say that the remains from the garbage dump are not the #Ayotzinapa students… Where are the #43?

And new questions have arisen. Theater company Tepito Arte Acá from Mexico City asked on Twitter:

The forensic team points out that the remains in the mass graves are not from the students… Who are they?

Finding these mass graves has only intensified the pain among Mexican people:

Exacavating the soil in my Guerrero is a forensic act. This situation is painful, I live in Tixtla, where the Ayotzinapa University is.

The EAAF explained in their statement that the Bode Technology Group in the United States provided the genetic testing on these remains. The Mexican general attorney’s office will send a different set of remains from a mass grave discovered in a ravine and the Cocula river to the University of Innsbruck in Austria for identification.

Follow our in-depth coverage: Bring Back Mexico's Missing #Ayotzinapa Students

  • newyork1974

    So whose bodies are they? We don’t know whether to be relieved (in the hope that the students are still alive), or further horrified.

    • firefly72

      I hate to be cynical given the circumstances, but the answer is easy: further horrified. Crimes of this nature have been happening for decades in Mexico. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

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