Iguala, birthplace of assassins Iguala, birthplace of assassins. milenio

A new investigation, the same doubts

Despite the report of human rights investigators, the nightmare continues

The investigation into the terrible events of Iguala of September 2014 by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has been concluded. It isn’t clear, one year later, what happened to 42 of the missing Ayotzinapa students (the remains of one of the original 43 have already been identified).


The conclusions of the investigative group concur with some of those reached by the Attorney General’s office (PGR), including, among others, that the students decided to go to Iguala when their leaders instructed them to go to the Guerrero state capital of Chilpancingo.

The purpose of the trip was to hijack buses for a later trip to Mexico City. Upon the students’ arrival in Iguala, the municipal police were informed and warned that they might create a conflict at an event headed by the wife of the mayor. Both investigations also agreed that the students headed for the town’s bus terminal and once there, hijacked two more buses.

It was at this crucial point that the municipal police, using extreme violence, confronted the students, apparently under direct orders from a third party. It was then that the spiral of violence that left four students dead and 43 more missing began.

Both investigations record the events hour by hour. The big difference is that the conclusion reached by the PGR was that the students had been handed over to the criminal organization Guerreros Unidos, who then transported them to a remote location. There, they were murdered and then incinerated in a ravine at the Cocula dump. The remains were then triturated and disposed of in trash bags in a nearby river.

The most recent report rejects the Cocula incineration hypothesis, but doesn’t share an alternative theory of what might have happened to the students. It does recognize that some of the incinerated remains correspond to one of the 43.

Two international specialists consulted independently by the newspaper Milenio agree that the massive incineration could have been possible even without large quantities of fuel.


A fifth hijacked bus was mentioned early during the investigations and then apparently forgotten. Presumably, it was ”loaded” with drugs, and its presence could have provoked the extreme and cruel reaction of the criminal group.

What both investigations forgot was the declaration given by Father Alejandro Solalinde, who just a few days after the tragedy said he had received information that the students had been delivered to a criminal group, which had murdered and cremated them. Who told him? Was it, perhaps, during someone’s confession?

It isn’t publicly known, either, if the parents of the missing students, the principal of the Ayotzinapa school, or the student leaders had been asked to make a statement. The leaders were the ones who organized the activities on that fateful night, and they could reveal just what was the missing students’ original plan.

A new group of experts will now be created, including nationals and foreigners, and under the supervision of the PGR and the National Human Rights Commission will continue the investigations until a resolution is reached.

The nightmare continues and many, sadly, keep taking advantage of the tragedy.

We all want to find out the truth, and we might still find many surprises along the way.

Armando González is a journalist and broadcaster who lives in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca. 

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  • Güerito

    Earlier in the week the Mexican Attorney General’s Office attacked the credentials and methodology used in the CIDH Report. When that failed, the PGR was reduced to saying “well, some of our conclusions agree with the CIDH Report.” Pathetic and misleading.

    Pathetic because, after concluding their investigation nearly a year ago, the PGR is now saying, “well, we said some of that stuff, too.” And misleading because on the fundamental questions of 1) whether there is evidence the students are dead, 2) the motive for the massacre and 3) those responsible for the massacre – the CIDH Report contradicts the conclusions of the PGR. That’s why the report is sending shocks waves across Mexico and the world.

    1) Evidence the students are dead (were burned in the Cocula dump): The PGR currently has about 110 people behind bars facing charges based on a conclusion that the CIDH Report rejects: that the students were burned to ashes at the Cocula dump. The CIDH Report concludes there’s no evidence that the students, other than Alex Mora, were even killed, let alone burned at the Cocula dump as the PGR claims. No expert, outside the PGR, who’s review the evidence in this case, believes the 43 were burned at the dump. Those experts supposedly saying it “could” have happened are basing their conclusions on “best case” hypothetical scenarios. The CIDH report says the remains sent to Innsbruck for analysis were identical to those left after bodies are cremated in a crematorium. During the attempts to find the remains of the students (based on false statements of those arrested – the key “witnesses” to support the PGR theory), many mass burial sites were found in the area. The CIDH reports in some of these, bodies were burned in ideal conditions, using a sunken pit and with proper accelerants to aid in destroying the bodies. In none of these sites did the remains remotely resemble the fine, powdery dust sent to Innsbruck for analysis. They found large bones or large bone fragments. And that’s not even getting into the heavy rain the night of 9/26/14 in the area and the helicopter that searched the area reporting nothing unusual while the fire was supposedly raging. Just this week the PGR backtracked, saying “many,” not all, of the students were burned at the dump. That’s an acknowledgement of the deathblow this new Report gave to the PGR version. (the CIDH all but says the ashes sent to Innsbruck for analysis were burned in a crematorium)

    2) Motive: The CIDH report completely rejects the PGR motive that the students were targeted because they were trying to disrupt the DIF rally being put on by the Mayor’s wife in Iguala that afternoon. (The ex-Mayor and his wife are in prison as the instigators of the attacks) The rally had dispersed hours before the first students arrived in Iguala. And the first students arrived in Iguala only because the driver of a bus they had taken in Chilpancingo asked that he be allowed to drop some passengers in Iguala. Since the students were neither “sent” to Iguala and were not there to disrupt the rally, the CIDH investigated further about a possible motive. And that’s when they discovered the now famous “fifth bus,” the PGR either completely ignored in their investigation or buried the evidence thereof.

    3) Those responsible: The Mexican PGR attempted from the outset to limit those responsible to local narcos and local politicos. The PGR refused to consider that the Mexican Federal Police or the Mexican Army played a role that night. The CIDH Report says both the Federal Police and the Mexican Army SHOULD be investigated for their possible role in the massacre. (Just today the MX Army rejected a key request of the CIDH – that Army personnel be interviewed by the CIDH) The CIDH Report found both the FP and the Army knew the attacks against the student were going on in real time. And they were nearby. Several witnesses state that Federal Police were involved in the attacks. The PGR report ignored all this evidence, and failed to investigate further, because it conflicted with their chosen theory.

    That’s all for now.