IGUALA, Mexico- Federal Mexican Police officials investigating the potential murder of up to 37 Mexican students by municipal police in retaliation for protesting on a major thoroughfare in the state capital of Chilpancingo, Mexico. There are currently 28 confirmed burned human remains that are suspected of being those of some of the more than 2,000 students who participated in the protest.
The students who are alleged by their family and friends to be missing, 43 in total, all attended the Aytozinapa Normal School, which has a reputation for clashes with police officials over social injustices they claim from the state. The protesters gathered this past Sunday, October the 5th, 2014, completely blocking a highway until they were removed by force by the local municipal police. The students were asking passing vehicles for donations for their families and their school in the notoriously impoverished rural part of Southern Mexico. Many of the signs held by students calling for the return of the missing- and feared dead- students.DNA Testing Last Hope for Identification of Burned Bodies of Mexican Student Protesters
43 Students not accounted for
Since the clashes began last week that initiated the escalating violence, it is alleged that 37 students of the school have vanished. Whether they are in police custody or missing is not known and the police up until now are not providing answers. In a shocking discovery this past Saturday, a mass grave was discovered which contains the burned human remains of 28 people thought to be some of the missing students. In reaction to the gruesome discovery, students and family members took to the streets Saturday evening demanding justice and trying to draw attention to the horrific crime. The protesters turned violent in a protest staged in front of the governor’s mansion when the crowd allegedly threw Molotov cocktails and turned over a vehicle. No arrests were reported.
As the municipal police are suspected, based on a long history of violent reactions to unruly students from the Aytozinapa Normal School, the Federal Government of Mexico has taken over the investigation to find what happened to the missing and now murdered students. According to the Guerrero State Prosecutor Inaky Blanco, eight additional municipal officers have been placed under arrest in connection to the case bringing the total to 30 Iguala city officers being detained presently.
Mexicos National Human Rights Commission investigating
The Mexican National Human Rights Commission is not waiting around for the federal government to bring justice to the families of the victims and hopefully find some of the still missing students alive. An independent investigation launched by the commission hopes to get to the bottom of the violence carried out by police officials against the students and is concerned about “serious human rights abuses” such as executions carried out by municipal police. The commission is bringing national as well as international attention to the cause in an effort to force the Federal Government to make a full, complete and open investigation.
DNA Testing brings hope
The Federal investigators have now agreed to use sophisticated DNA testing in order to identify the 28 burned bodies discovered in a pit thought to be some of the missing students. The testing it is hoped can not only provide answers to who is dead, but hopefully point law enforcement in the right direction at identifying the perpetrators using forensic testing.