Independent Group reject Mexican Govt's case on Missing 43
An independent report presented yesterday dismantles the Mexican government's investigation into last year's disappearance of 43 teachers' college students, starting with the assertion that the giant funeral pyre in which the attorney general said they were burned to ash beyond identification simply never happened.
While the government said the September 26 attack was a case of mistaken identity, the report said the violent and coordinated reaction to the students, who were hijacking buses for transportation to a demonstration, may have had to do with them unknowingly interfering with a drug shipment on one of the buses.
Iguala, the city in southern Guerrero state where the attack took place, is known as a transport hub for heroin going to the United States, particularly Chicago, some of it by bus, the report said.
"The business that moves the city of Iguala could explain such an extreme and violent reaction and the character of the massive attack," the experts said in the report delivered to the government and the students' families during a public presentation.
"It was the state!" some members of the audience shouted.
The report means that nearly a year after the disappearance, the fate of 42 of the students remains a mystery, given the errors, omissions and false conclusions outlined in more than 400 pages by the experts assembled by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission. The team interviewed witnesses and detainees and reviewed the government's evidence and conclusions. A charred bone fragment of only one of the 43 has been identified and it wasn't burned at the high temperature of an incineration, contrary to Mexican investigators' claims.
The report recommends that authorities rethink their assumptions and lines of investigation, as well as continue the search for the students and investigate the possible use of public or private ovens to cremate the bodies. It also recommends investigating the drug angle, who was coordinating the attack and who were the high level people giving the orders - all unknowns nearly a year later.
In point after point, the international team of experts, including lawyers, former prosecutors and a medical doctor, says the government investigation was wrong about the nature of and the motive for the attack. It is an indictment of Mexico's investigative procedures and conclusions, and cites key evidence that was manipulated or that disappeared.