DNA tests have revealed the identity of the second of 43 students who disappeared in Iguala, Guerrero, last September, believed to have been killed and incinerated by a drug gang.
Researchers at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, who have been conducting DNA testing since last November, say a bone fragment has produced a positive identification of Jhosivani Guerrero de la Cruz, 21, after matching the DNA of his mother, Martina de la Cruz de la Cruz, according to two reports this evening.
The university’s forensics lab also reconfirmed the death of Alexander Mora Venancio with the positive identification of a second bone fragment. Mora was the first, and until today the only one of the missing students to be identified.
The federal Attorney General’s office is expected to hold a press conference later today.
The remains shipped to Austria consisted of ashes and bone that were recovered by federal investigators from a river near the Cocula garbage dump, where the students are believed to have been killed and burned by the Guerreros Unidos gang. The ashes were placed inside plastic garbage bags and dumped in the San Juan River, according to the findings of the federal Attorney General.
Municipal authorities and police in both Iguala and Cocula have been implicated in a series of violent events that took place on September 26 and 27 and led up to the disappearance of the 43, who were studying to be teachers at a normal school in Tixtla, Guerrero.
An independent investigation by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission produced a report released on September 6 that rejected the official conclusion that the students’ bodies had been burned in Cocula, claiming it was not possible.
However, at least three other fire experts say otherwise.