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Relatives of missing Mexican students demand wider inquiry

July 27, 2015

Parents of Mexico's 43 missing students have demanded the government to resume the search for the young men who have been missing for ten months. The march comes as more bodies and clandestine graves are uncovered.

Mexiko's missing students
Image: Reuters/H. Romero

Relatives of the students who went missing on September 26 last year in Iguala in Guerrero state, marched on Sunday, calling for the investigation to continue.

"We demand the re-launching of the search and the reopening of the case, which this corrupt government has refused to do," said Vidulfo Rosales, a lawyer for the students' families.

Federal forces accused

According to the official account, the missing students who were attending a rural school for teachers were attacked on the orders of the then mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca.

Authorities say the 43 students were abducted by corrupt local police who handed them over to a drug gang which is believed to have killed them and burned their remains.

Families of the victims do not believe the official report, however, and insist that the alleged role of federal forces in the case be investigated.

Human Rights report

The investigation into the students' disappearance also came under fire from the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) last week, after the board found several failings by Mexican prosecutors.

The report made a total of 32 observations and proposals to federal, state and local authorities involved in the case, after alleging that investigators have failed to compile basic information about the victims and that eleven suspects in the case had not been properly investigated.

More than 20,000 'missing'

The march on Sunday came as Mexico's attorney general's office released a report showing that at least 60 clandestine graves and 129 bodies have been found over the last 10 months during the search for the missing students. Only one of the 43 students has been identified among the discovered remains, however.

More than 20,000 people are listed as missing in Mexico, with many also reported as "disappeared" in Guerrero state, which is a known major producer of opium and the battlefield of several gangs, warring over territory and drug smuggling routes.

ksb/jil (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)