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Vidulfo Rosales speaks Thursday at the National Palace in Mexico City. Vidulfo Rosales speaks Thursday at the National Palace in Mexico City.

Human remains from Guerrero sent to Austria for analysis in Ayotzinapa case

Investigators will determine if they belong to any of the 43 students who disappeared in 2014

The remains of six bodies found in Guerrero have been sent to Austria for analysis to determine if they belong to any of the 43 male students who disappeared in September 2014.

Speaking to reporters outside the National Palace in Mexico City after meeting with relatives of the missing students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College on Thursday, Deputy Interior Minister for Human Rights Alejandro Encinas said that the remains were delivered to forensic investigators at the University of Innsbruck on Monday.

The remains of three of the bodies were found in a ravine located on community-owned land in the municipality of Cocula, while the other remains were found near the city of Iguala in an area known as Jesús de Nazaret, he said.

The students disappeared in Iguala on September 26, 2014, after buses they had commandeered to travel to a protest in Mexico City came under fire by municipal police.

According to the former federal government’s official version of events – the so-called “historical truth” – the students were killed by members of the Guerreros Unidos gang after they were handed over to them by corrupt municipal police.

After killing the students, who they allegedly mistook as members of a rival gang, the Guerreros Unidos gangsters burned the bodies in the Cocula municipal dump and scattered the ashes in a nearby river, the previous government said.

Encinas said on Thursday that the so-called “historical truth” is collapsing as a result of new investigations conducted by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (FGR). The previous government’s version of events was built on “torture and simulation,” he said.

Approximately 80 suspects have been released from prison due to a lack of evidence or because courts found they were tortured during the interrogation process.

In addition to the remains sent to the University of Innsbruck – whose researchers previously identified two of the missing students by conducting DNA testing on bone fragments – Encinas said that “other discoveries” were made in a cave contaminated by bat feces. The findings will also be subject to analysis, he said.

The deputy minister said that authorities in Mexico did not know when the results of the testing in Austria would be available but stressed that the government will announce the findings as soon as it has them.

For their part, parents of the 43 presumably dead young men said that they asked Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero and Supreme Court Chief Justice Arturo Zaldívar to do all they can to speed up the investigations in order to find out what happened to their sons and where they ended up.

The two officials’ meeting with the parents came after President López Obrador personally asked them to work together to seek justice in the case.

The parents told Zaldívar that only one court should be tasked with working on the case because many are currently doing so and the investigation is progressing slowly as a result.

Vidulfo Rosales, a lawyer for the students’ families, said that criminal cases related to the students’ disappearance are currently being heard by several courts, each of which applies its own criteria.

“All it does is delay access to justice for the mothers and fathers,” he said.

The parents asked Gertz to launch investigations into Federal Police and municipal police from Huitzuco, Guerrero, which borders Iguala, for the crimes of forced disappearance and torture. They also urged him to initiate new criminal proceedings against suspects who have been released.

López Obrador signed a decree to create a super commission to conduct a new investigation into the Ayotzinapa case just two days after he was sworn in as president in December 2018 and has pledged that his government will not rest until it knows the whereabouts of the missing students.

While the government has rejected the version of events set out by the administration led by former president Enrique Peña Nieto, after 15 months in office it has not offered its own alternative conclusion.

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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