Government officials in Mexico confirmed that one of the students missing after being handed over to drug lords by police has been identified. The missing student’s charred remains found among others in a garbage dump in Southern Mexico were said to be those of Alexander Mora. The remains were made available to families by the Argentinian forensic team that was enlisted by the Mexican government to help identify the bodies. The parents, family and friends of the deceased students all in a sullen mood while addressing a group at a planned protest declined to speak much about their loved ones’ deaths. The crowd had gathered to demand the safe return of the students alive. The students disappeared late September from Guerrero State city of Iguala.
The missing Mexican students from Guerrero were protesting against government corruption in September when police rounded them up never to be found alive. The police, who had connections to a gang unit known as Unidos are suspected to have been the masterminds behind the killing of the students. Mexican authorities took more than 10 days to investigate the disappearance after the students went missing. This caused outrage in several cities in the country. For weeks, the families had been pressing the government for answers regarding the students’ whereabouts.
Three bystanders and three students died in the ensuing confrontation during the protest. The government has so far arrested more than 70 people whom it believes took part in the student’s disappearance and killing. The detainees admitted to killing the students and throwing their remains in a river. The case has outraged and shocked many in Mexico and many citizens continue to voice their fear that they live in especially since they are dealing with a corrupt government.
One of Mora’s classmates who spoke on condition of anonymity referred to him as a “rock.” He was known for his perseverance. His father said he would continue to demand justice and would not rest until his killers were brought to justice.
Felipe de la Cruz, a father of one of the missing students vowed that their sons and daughters would not be forgotten and prayed that their deaths will not be in vain. Parents and students have continued to hold demonstrations demanding justice for the victims.
Itel Silva a human rights lawyer points out that people are fed up of living in constant fear of disappearances and executions by gangs and that the government has not protected its people. He also added that the disappearances are a result of impunity that has continued to thrive in Mexico for many years.
Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said that the students were attacked on orders of Iguala’s the mayor, Jose Luis Abarca to prevent them from interfering with a meeting that his wife was holding. Prosecutors believe that the students were delivered to a drug gang that later killed them.
Unfortunately the Mexico missing student identified remains were almost impossible to identify and under Argentina’s recommendation, they were sent to the University of Innsbruck in Australia for identification since the university has the most experienced lab in identifying deteriorated remains.
By Benedicto Ateku