Mexico is looking for 43 missing students... (1 Viewer)


Madam Baggington of Pukingshire

After a student protest in Iguala, Mexico, last month, dozens of young men were seen being hauled off into police vans. Then, they vanished.

One month later, 43 students from the Ayotzinapa rural teachers college are still missing and presumed dead. Instead of finding the students, authorities investigating the events of Sept. 26 have instead found other horrors: a string of mass graves, police working for drug cartels and government officials at the helm of a dark underworld.

The hunt for the students has laid bare the brutality and lawlessness in parts of Mexico still under the grip of the cartels, despite years of Mexico’s war on drugs.


Here are some of the disturbing findings of the Mexican government's investigation:

Last Sighting Of The Students

The students -- men in their late teens and early 20s -- were studying to become teachers in rural Mexico at a college with a history of radical leftist activism, the BBC reported. That Friday, they went out to demonstrate against hiring discrimination and solicit funds for an upcoming protest march.

Witnesses have said that the students were in Iguala, a city in southern Mexico, when they came under fire from police.

By the end of the night, six people were left dead. The body of one student was later found with his face skinned and eyes gouged out, the New Yorker reported, "the signature of a Mexican organized-crime assassination."

Some of the students escaped Iguala, but 43 of them have not been seen since that night. Survivors described their classmates being taken away by police, but authorities denied they were in state custody.

When the students didn't return and relatives and sympathizers took to the streets in protest, Mexico's federal government launched an investigation.

The City's Former Mayor And His Wife Allegedly Control The Local Drug Cartel

According to the investigation, former Iguala Mayor José Luis Abarca Velázquez instructed municipal police to stop the student protests at all costs.

Abarca and his wife, María de los Ángeles Pineda Villa, are the “probable masterminds” behind the crime and are on the run from arrest, according to Mexico’s attorney general.

The investigation has led to allegations that Abarca and Pineda were the heads of a murderous personal fiefdom in collaboration with the local drug cartel -- the Guerreros Unidos.


After his arrest, the head of the cartel told investigators that Pineda -- the daughter and sister of cartel members -- is the “key operator” of the criminal network in Iguala. When the students' protest risked disrupting an event launching her own bid for the mayor’s office, Pineda gave the order to “teach them a lesson,” the cartel chief told authorities, according to the Daily Beast.

Despite expressions of shock by the Mexican government, local residents say officials turned a blind eye to the couple’s gang connections. "Everyone knew about their presumed connections to organized crime," Alejandro Encinas, a senator from the mayor's Democratic Revolution Party, told the Associated Press. "Nobody did anything, not the federal government, not the state government, not the party leadership."

Investigators Say Police Worked As The Cartel’s Hit Men

Investigators said that police delivered the 43 missing students to members of the Guerreros Unidos cartel, telling them that the students were members of a rival drug gang.

Guerreros Unidos hit men admitted to killing some of the students and dumping them in a pit -- although their bodies have not yet been identified.

In custody, Guerreros Unidos members named at least 30 local police officers they said were working directly for the cartel. “I wouldn't call these police, 'police.' I would call them hit men,” Mexican federal Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam told reporters.

Dozens of police have since been arrested, and authorities said some have confessed to being involved. Iguala’s police chief is also on the run. Federal police officers have taken over law enforcement in Iguala, disarming the entire force.


Meanwhile, a banner demanding the policemen’s release appeared in Iguala, signed by the Guerreros Unidos cartel. "Or else we will reveal the names of all the politicians who work for us. The war is just beginning," the sign threatened.

The Cartel’s Control Likely Goes Far Beyond One City

The Guerreros Unidos cartel is thought to control drug routes in Guerrero state -- where Iguala is located -- and neighboring Morelos. And the collusion of local authorities in their operation likely runs far wider than Iguala.

Federal police have taken control of more than 12 municipalities in southern Mexico after finding “presumed links to organized crime” in their police forces, Mexico National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido said.

The cartel is one of several regional splinter groups from the notorious Sinaloa Cartel to emerge around 2011, according to investigative journalism group InSight Crime. Violence has exploded as the gangs battle for territory, and Guerrero had the highest murder rate in Mexico in 2013, the group said.

Many, Many More Are Missing And Dead

In their search for any trace of the students, investigators have found at least 12 mass graves with dozens of unidentified bodies near Iguala. So far, authorities say none of the remains match the missing students.

The gruesome discoveries confirmed some of the residents’ worst fears -- that the hills above the city were being used as a cemetery for the disappeared.


Already this year, 150 bodies have been found in secret graves throughout Guerrero state, InSight Crime reports, citing the state’s forensic office.

Across Mexico, more than 20,000 people have disappeared in the last eight years, according to government figures. Human Rights Watch’s Nik Steinberg, who has extensively investigated the disappearances, wrote in Foreign Policy earlier this yearthat if even half of the cases are verified, this represents “one of the worst waves of disappearances in the Americas in decades.”

“The evidence suggests not only that authorities have failed to investigate disappearances, but also, in many cases, that soldiers and police have helped to carry them out,” he wrote in a story published before the Iguala students vanished.


In the meantime, the students' families and supporters are holding out hope that they will be found.

“Today all Mexico resounds with the cry 'They took them alive, we want them back alive,'" Mexican poet and former diplomat Homero Aridjis wrote in a recent blog postfor The WorldPost. “Mexicans are fed up with living in a pervasive state of corruption and impunity,” he said.

The students’ disappearance and the allegations of official complicity have brought thousands of outraged protesters onto the streets of Mexico to demand their return -- and justice.

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Wow!.. This was really interesting!!.. Thank you for sharing this, I had no clue how bad everything was down there..

Anal Anus

Profound and smelly lore
If they find them will be good enough... Strange fact the government of Mexico blaming their own lackeys to be culprits.


Mexico City (AFP) - Suspected gang members in Mexico confessed to killing more than 40 missing students and incinerating their remains in a grisly case that shocked the country and triggered angry protests, authorities said Friday.

Facing the biggest crisis of his administration, President Enrique Pena Nieto vowed to hunt down all those responsible for the "horrible crime."

Authorities have been searching for 43 students since gang-linked police attacked their buses in the southern city of Iguala on September 26, allegedly under orders of the mayor and his wife in violence that left six people dead.

"To the parents of the missing young men and society as a whole, I assure you that we won't stop until justice is served," Pena Nieto said.

If the testimonies are proven true, it would be one of the worst massacres in a drug war that has killed more than 80,000 people and left 22,000 others missing since 2006.

Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam warned that it would be difficult to identify the charred remains and that authorities will continue to consider the students as missing until DNA tests confirm the identities.

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Relatives of 43 missing students leave at the end of a private meeting with Mexican Attorney General …
"I am angry, sad and Mexican society is too," said Murillo Karam, who delivered the news in a meeting with relatives of the missing in an airport hangar in Chilpancingo, capital of the violence-plagued southern state of Guerrero.

- 14-hour inferno -

The three Guerreros Unidos gang suspects said they killed the male students after they were handed over to them between Iguala and the neighboring town of Cocula by police, Murillo Karam said.

The bodies were set on fire near a Cocula landfill with gasoline, tires, firewood and plastic in an inferno that lasted 14 hours, he said.

"The fire lasted from midnight to 2:00 pm the next day. The criminals could not handle the bodies until 5:00 pm due to the heat," he said.

Protesters demand answers over missing students in …Play video

The suspects then crushed the remains, stuffed them in bags and threw some of them in a river.

The suspects were not sure how many students they received but one of them said there were more than 40.
Before the announcement, relatives of the missing said they would not accept that their children were killed until they get the results of independent Argentine forensic experts.
"We will keep pressing that we want them back alive," Manuel Martinez, a spokesman for the families, told AFP.
Murillo Karam said the remains would be analyzed by experts at an Austrian university.
- Among Mexico's 'gravest' crime -
Authorities have now detained 74 people, including Guerreros Unidos members, 36 Iguala and Cocula police officers and Iguala's ousted mayor, Jose Luis Abarca, and his wife Maria de los Angeles Pineda.
The mayoral couple were detained in a gritty Mexico City district on Tuesday after more than a month on the run.
Authorities say Abarca ordered the officers to confront the students over fears they would derail a speech by his wife, who headed the local child protection agency.
The missing young men, who are from a left-wing teacher-training college near Guerrero's state capital, said they were going to Iguala to raise funds, though they hijacked four buses to move around.
The crisis forced Pena Nieto to shorten a major upcoming trip to China and Australia by four days, which will now run from November 9 to 15.
Human Rights Watch dubbed the mass disappearance "one of the gravest cases recorded in the contemporary history of Mexico and Latin America."
Fed up with years of relentless violence, tens of thousands of Mexicans held a new protest over the Iguala case on Wednesday.

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