Human remains found in Guerrero might be those of the 43 students who disappeared in September 2014, a lawyer for the victims’ parents said on Thursday.
Vidulfo Rosales said that remains found by the National Search Commission in municipalities that neighbor Iguala – the city in which the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College students were abducted – will be analyzed by both Mexican and foreign experts.
Some of the remains will be analyzed in Mexico and some will be sent to the Institute of Legal Medicine at the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria, he said. Results could be ready in February or March, Rosales said.
The lawyer said that the discovery of the remains has led to the formulation of a new theory about what happened to the 43 young men who vanished on September 26, 2014. They were allegedly handed over to the Guerreros Unidos crime gang by corrupt municipal police who stopped the buses the students had commandeered to travel to a protest in Mexico City.
Rosales said the hypothesis is that the students’ bodies were not burned in the Cocula garbage dump as the previous federal government claimed in its so-called “historical truth.”
Instead, they may have been separated on September 26 or September 27 and taken to locations in the municipalities of Eduardo Neri, Huitzuco and Taxco, he said.
“The new hypothesis is that there was a situation in municipalities that neighbor Iguala that was not known before” Rosales said without offering further details.
The lawyer also announced that experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will be allowed to continue its investigation into the case.
The previous government refused to renew the mandate of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts(GIEI) in 2016. Based on forensic analysis, the group dismissed the possibility that the students’ bodies were burned at the Cocula dump by members of the Guerreros Unidos gang, who allegedly mistook the young men for rival gangsters.
The GIEI said that its final hypothesis was that the students may have unwittingly commandeered a bus loaded with heroin that was bound for the United States.
Just two days after he took office on December 1, 2018, President López Obrador signed a decree to create a super commission to conduct a new investigation into the students’ disappearance.
However, it failed to make any significant progress in 2019 and more than 50 people arrested in connection with the case, including more than 20 municipal police, were released from prison.
Parents of the students said in November that they were giving López Obrador two months to produce results or they would increase the intensity of their protests.
After a meeting with the president on Thursday, the mother of one of the students said that López Obrador “has feelings and understands us as parents.”
However, she lamented that six Christmases have now passed without parents having any certainty about what happened to their sons.
Another meeting between the president and parents is scheduled for March 9 by which time it may be known whether the recently-discovered remains are those of the missing students or not.