The official findings of the investigation into the 43 missing students of the Ayotzinapa teacher training college have been challenged a second time by a new report that says their bodies were not incinerated at the Cocula garbage dump.
The official version, dubbed the “historical” one by then attorney general Jesús Murillo Karam, declared that the students had been detained during a night of gunfire and violence in the city of Iguala, Guerrero, September 26 and 27, 2014, and turned over to a drug gang.
The gang then killed those who were not already dead and burned the bodies at a garbage dump in nearby Cocula.
The latest findings are those of the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, which has been following the investigation at the request of the parents and families of the missing students. It questioned the official version a year ago, claiming errors and irregularities on the part of the Attorney General’s office.
Today, the team of forensic experts, accompanied by the students’ parents, declared at a press conference that there had not been a fire of sufficient intensity at the dump to incinerate the bodies. In addition, it said there was no evidence to connect the remains of one student found in the San Juan River to events at the dump.
The official version, which came out early in 2015, stated that the ashes and remains were placed in garbage bags and discarded in the river.
Last September, a committee of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission announced it had reached the same conclusion after fire experts said the fire could not have happened.
The Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts recommended that the Cocula dump investigation be started anew and that international experts be brought in to assist. The Attorney General announced several months ago that that process was getting under way but there has been word since on the progress.
The Argentine team did, however, find remains of at least 19 people who died at the dump at different times, and some had been burned, but there was no evidence that they belonged to any of the missing students.
Parents at today’s press conference charged that the government had engaged in a campaign of lies that affected the investigation, and that they would seek punishment for all those public servants who participated in “the historical version.”