A search for 43 missing college students in Mexico continues as the investigation unveiled almost 60 unmarked graves and over 100 bodies.
The remains found haven’t been linked to the young students that went missing after a student-police clash on Sept 26, 2014 in the city of Iguala, reports the Associated Press with data from Mexico’s attorney general’s office.
So far the investigations have turned up about sixty unmarked graves and a total of 129 bodies during the 10-month investigation. It is believed that the missing students were turned over by the police to a drug gang that killed and incinerated the bodies, CBS News reports. The number of bodies and graves could possibly be higher than the figures mentioned in the investigation report, since the freedom of information request by the AP only concerns mass graves.
The September clash with the police in Iguala resulted in the disappearance of 43 male college students and six deaths. The Ayotzinapa Teacher Training College students were protesting against discriminatory hiring practices taking place in their city.
The unmarked graves have made headlines since the Mexican authorities began their mass disappearance investigation last fall. The local mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, gave an order to the police to turn the students over to a gang so that his wife’s speech at a conference wouldn’t be disrupted by their protesting. Both the local mayor and his wife were arrested for their involvement in the incident.
Two months after the mass disappearance, gang members confessed to the killing and incineration of the bodies. Following the incident 80 people have been detained. Even though the missing men are presumed dead, their families won’t believe so unless solid proof is presented.
Mexican authorities have said that there is still no evidence that the 43 missing students were involved in a drug trade or that they were mistaken for a rival gang.
At the moment, over 20,000 people are reported missing across the country with a significant portion having disappeared from Guerrero, a state that is a major opium producer and a known cartel battleground. Guerrero also has one of the highest homicide rates in Mexico.
Out of the 129 bodies discovered, 92 were male and only six have been identified as of July 13.
According to the AP, many doubt the state’s version of the case. The National Human Right Commission has published a report on 30 omissions during the investigation that could possibly help resolve the case.