The Mexican government’s investigation of last year’s disappearance of 43 college students has been questioned by an independent report, which says that the attorney general’s claim that the bodies of the students was burned in a funeral pyre is false.
According to the Mexican government, police in Iguala mistook the students as rivals of Guerreros Unidos, the local militia. However, it is believed that the students may have interfered with a drug shipment occurring on one of the buses, the report said.
The report, compiled by investigators from Chile, Colombia, Guatemala and Spain, said, “There is no evidence that supports the hypothesis, based on testimonies, that 43 bodies were cremated in the municipal dump of Cocula on September 27, 2014.”
Iguala, the city where the attacks occurred, is infamously known as the center from where heroin is transported to the United States, particularly Chicago, the report said, according to Boston Globe.
“The business that moves the city of Iguala could explain such an extreme and violent reaction and the character of the massive attack,” the experts said in the report. The report was delivered to the government and families of the students during a public presentation.
Some members of the audience expressed their outrage towards the government, saying, “It was the state!”
The Human Rights Commission criticized the Mexican government for the way it handled the investigation.
“This report provides an utterly damning indictment of Mexico’s handling of the worst human rights atrocity in recent memory,” Jose Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. “Even with the world watching and with substantial resources at hand, the authorities proved unable or unwilling to conduct a serious investigation.”
The report claims that authorities should re-evaluate the steps that had been taken to investigate the matter, and that the search for the missing bodies should continue. It also shed light on several attributes of the investigation that still remain in the dark one year later – including the people who were giving the orders and those who coordinated the attacks. The report further said that the government was wrong about the nature of and motive for the attacks, and that it should reassess its line of investigation.
The attacks carried out by the local police were commanded by an unknown source. The human rights of almost 180 people were violated.
According to ABC7.com, the report also says that federal police and military were present at the scene of the attacks. However, the extent of their involvement has not been determined yet.
The report says that the police and military were aware of the movements of the students even before they arrived in Iguala. The police attacked the students, in which two individuals were shot at close range. At least two people were killed because emergency medical personnel took too long to respond to the scene.
What happened to the students a year after their disappearance is unknown, the report said. There is not enough evidence to support the claim that the missing students were abducted and then incinerated, as the government has asserted. Lawyers representing the families of the missing students also criticized the government for losing evidence, as reported by International Business Times.
“We’re convinced that the 43 students were not burned in the Cocula municipal dump,” the report concludes.
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