MEXICO CITY (AFP) – Fears that 43 Mexican students missing since September were slaughtered by a police-backed gang have risen after one of the young men was identified among charred remains found in a landfill.
Authorities sent badly burned remains to an Austrian medical university last month after a police-backed gang confessed to killing the students and incinerating their bodies in the southern state of Guerrero.
The attorney general’s office scheduled a news conference to discuss the case on Sunday but an official confirmed to AFP that one of the remains was identified as one of the missing trainee teachers.
If all 43 are confirmed dead, it would rank among the worst mass murders in a drug war that has killed more than 80,000 people and left 22,000 others missing since 2006 in Mexico.
The case has drawn international condemnation, highlighted Mexico’s struggle with corruption and undermined President Enrique Pena Nieto’s assurances that his security policy was bearing fruit.
The body’s identification was confirmed by a spokesman for the families at a new protest Saturday over the case in Mexico City, where thousands waved black flags and called for Pena Nieto’s resignation.