New evidence obtained by the federal Attorney General’s office indicates that the missing students of the Ayotzinapa teacher training college were victims of a massive homicide on the night of September 26-27.
Three men have confessed to the murder of a large number of people that night in Cocula, Guerrero, the Attorney General announced at a press conference this afternoon.
But Jesús Murillo Karam insisted the search for the missing students of the Ayotzinapa teachers’ college will continue while efforts are carried out to identify ashes and human remains found in plastic bags in the San Juan River.
The last three people to be arrested in connection with the killings in Iguala and the disappearance of the 43 students have given evidence that more than 40 people were delivered to the garbage dump in nearby Cocula that night. Some were already dead; those who were still alive were killed, according to testimony by one of the three, Agustín García Reyes.
The bodies were burned in a fire set with tires, wood, gasoline and diesel fuel. A member of the Guerreros Unidos gang identified as El Terco ordered that the remains from the fire be ground up and thrown in the river.
The ashes and remains filled eight black plastic garbage bags, according to the testimony.
García Reyes and his two accomplices, Patricio Reyes and Jonathan Osorio, led investigators first to the Cocula dump then to the river, where they found plastic bags full of ashes and what has been identified as human bone material.
Those remains will be analyzed by a specialized laboratory at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, but there was no indication as to how long the process might take.
Before holding this afternoon’s press conference, the Attorney General had a “very, very sad” meeting with parents and other family members of the missing students in Chilpancingo.
However, he pledged that the search for their missing sons will continue as long as there is no proof that they are not alive.
The ex-mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca Velásquez, ordered municipal police to intercept the Ayotzinapa students on the night of the killings, according to the Attorney General, so they wouldn’t interrupt an event hosted by his wife, María de los Ángeles Pineda Villa.
Six people were subsequently killed and another 25 wounded, which was followed by the abduction of the 43 students. The Guerreros Unidos gang, in which the mayor’s wife is believed to have played a key role, has also been implicated in the events of that night.
Abarca and Pineda were arrested Tuesday in Mexico City after a month-long search. Still missing and also wanted in connection with the crimes is the chief of police.
“The capture of the intellectual authors is not enough; we will arrest all those who participated in these abominable crimes,” said President Peña Nieto this afternoon.