Alejandro Solalinde Solalinde points the finger.Síntesis

‘Missing students were burned alive’

Activist suggests not only does the state know but might be responsible

The parents of 43 missing students, who participate daily in the ongoing search for their loved ones, were not given much hope when a Roman Catholic priest and human rights advocate claimed on Friday that all 43 were burned alive.

Alejandro Solalinde said in a radio interview that three witnesses had contacted him, two on Sunday, Oct. 12 and a third last Tuesday, to say the students had been placed alive on a funeral pyre and burned.

He also claimed that the government was aware of what had befallen the missing students. Yesterday he was to have met with authorities at the office of the Attorney General, but that meeting has now been postponed until tomorrow.

Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam doesn’t appear in any rush to hear what Solalinde has to say, but the latter probably has few friends in the administration of President Peña Nieto, whom Solalinde claims has known all along the students are dead.

He told El Universal that the disappearance of the 43 students was part of a state plan to eliminate rural teacher training schools because they don’t conform to the government’s “neoliberal model.”

The reading to be taken from Ayotzinapa, the priest said, is that “if they’re not on side, get rid of them.” He discounted the evidence given to date that municipal police delivered the students to the criminal gang Guerreros Unidos.

“They were taken away in official vehicles, organized crime didn’t take them away; agents of the state made them disappear and the state should be asked why.”

The incidents in question took place September 26 in Iguala, Guerrero, when six people were killed and many more wounded by police and criminal gang members, according to information released. The 43 students disappeared the same night.

In another interview Solalinde went as far as to suggest not only that the government was fully informed about what was going on from the beginning but might have been responsible.

He said the left-wing students were an irritant to authorities but he had “never imagined that it was to such a degree that they would want to exterminate them.”

He also said he had a map given him by one of the witnesses who contacted him which might show the location where the students died.

For the sake of the grieving parents, both Solalinde and the Attorney General might consider putting aside whatever issues may be between them so the latter has more information with which to work. Failing that, perhaps the former could have the map made public so the parents know where to look.

Source: El Universal (sp), Radio Fórmula (sp)

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