Lost Students Not Among Bodies Found in Mexico, Officials Say.
By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLDOCT. 14, 2014
MEXICO CITY — The mystery of the whereabouts of 43 college students reported missing after an outbreak of violence in southern Mexico deepened Tuesday after the authorities said initial testing had shown that none of the students were among the 28 bodies found in mass graves.
At the same time, the authorities said they were checking newly found graves to see if the undetermined number of remains found were those of the students.
The students were reported missing on Sept. 26 after gunfire by the police and masked attackers left six dead and several wounded in the city of Iguala in Guerrero State. Three students, part of a large group collecting donations for school and then stealing buses to travel to an Oct. 2 demonstration protesting cuts to their state-financed teachers college, were killed.
The badly burned bodies of 28 people were found last weekend in a mass grave on a hillside in the outskirts of Iguala, Mexico.Iguala Journal: In Case of Missing Students, Hillside Mass Graves Point to a Death MarchOCT. 8, 2014
The parents of 43 students missing since Sept. 26 met Sunday at the teachers college their children attended in southern Mexico.43 Missing Students, a Mass Grave and a Suspect: Mexico’s PoliceOCT. 6, 2014
The federal attorney general, Jesús Murillo Karam, revealed the findings on the first mass graves as he reported additional arrests in the case, including the seizure of 14 police officers in Cocula, a small town to the southwest of Iguala. The officers, officials said, had confessed to delivering students detained in Iguala to an organized-crime gang, Guerreros Unidos, which has infiltrated several local police forces. Already, 22 officers in Iguala have been detained on suspicion of having also turned over students to the gang.
The first graves were discovered after men in custody told investigators that 17 of the students had been taken to the hillside, killed and buried. But Mr. Murillo Karam said DNA analysis had shown that none of the remains matched the DNA of any of the students, leaving unanswered not only where the students are but whose bodies were in the grave.
Mr. Murillo Karam spoke hours after Benjamín Mondragón, believed to be a leader of Guerreros Unidos, killed himself as the federal police were about to arrest him.
Mr. Mondragón shot himself in the head as federal officers closed in on his vehicle in Morelos State, just north of Guerrero, according to the authorities.
It was unclear if Mr. Mondragón had played a role in the disappearances or the shootings.