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Investigators threaten to end collaboration on Mexico's missing students probe

Independent investigators have slammed Mexican authorities for releasing a 'preliminary report' on the missing students. Mexican officials claim the students were handed over to a drug cartel that slaughtered them.

A group of independent investigators on Wednesday local time threatened to end its investigation with Mexican authorities into the 43 students who went missing in the town of Iguala, 200 kilometers south of the capital, in September 2014.

The Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), a unit established by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH), criticized government authorities after Mexican investigators publicized a "preliminary report" without the consent of the experts.

"The group will not continue on this case with a process that does not adhere to the terms and international standards agreed upon, and that only serves to confuse and discredit," the GIEI said in a statement.

The report in question examined evidence at a garbage dump in Cocula to determine whether a fire cremated the bodies of the students.

But the GIEI said experts were still determining whether a fire had taken place at the garbage dump, and whether conditions were right to dispose of the bodies.

"Therefore, there are no conclusions, and the GIEI will not contribute to the confusion by spreading preliminaries on a delicate and complex problem," the group added.

Claudia Paz, Guatemala's ex-Attorney General, said Mexican authorities' decisions will have dire consequences, including the revictimization of the students' families

Claudia Paz, Guatemala's ex-Attorney General, said Mexican authorities' decisions will have dire consequences, including the revictimization of the students' families

On September 26, 2014, 43 students at a teachers college disappeared in Iguala. Mexican officials said that local police handed them over to a drug cartel in the Mexican state of Guerrero, who murdered them and then disposed of their bodies.

But Argentine prosecutors in February cast doubt on Mexico's account of the story. While bodies were discovered at the dump, they were not identified as any of the students.

"So that events like these do not happen again, we have alerted the highest authorities in Mexico of the structural changes needed, including a change in mentalities," the GIEI concluded.

Watch video 01:44

Mexico's vanished students | DW News

ls/jm (EFE, AFP)

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