Nov 8, 2014 (MEXICO CITY) Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam held a press conference that lasted more than an hour at the offices of the Procuraduria General de la Republica (PGR). This press conference came after he met with families of the 43 students who went missing near the town of Iguala in the southern State of Guerrero.
During the conference AG Karam said that they detained three suspects of the Guerreros Unidos, a drug cartel, who “confessed to receiving and executing the group of people that were handed to them by the municipal police of Iguala and Cocula.”
He also said that he, and the government, joined civil society in the pain that this caused. The official also said that the bones of the victims were broken, and they were burned at the landfill in Cocula.
The students went missing about six weeks ago, on Sep. 27. when their buses was stopped on the road and there was gunfire exchanged. From the beginning there were suspicions that the municipal police was involved.
According to news reports the former Mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, ordered the police to stop the three busloads of students after they attempted to disrupt an event involving his wife. She had political ambitions of her own.
At about 8:30 p.m. armed men, including police officers, surrounded the buses. While many of the students were able to escape into the surrounding streets, dozens were taken and loaded into police vehicles, with plenty of witnesses.
Around midnight shots are fired at the buses, with the first confirmed casualties, including a 15-year-old soccer player.
On the morning of the 27 the body of Julio Cesar Mondragon was found. His eyes were missing and his facial skin was flayed. This was the first indication that this was a cartel killing. This is a signature of the cartels.
This is one reason federal authorities focused on the Guerreros Unidos, a drug cartel that dominates that region of the State of Guerrero.
The students were also normalistas, which is teacher college students, in an area that has seen demands and unrest since the 1960s. The students were returning after going to Iguala to demand an increase in the daily stipend they get, which at this time is at 50 pesos, approximately $3.80 dollars per day. They were also protesting the wide spread educational reform that is sweeping the country.
The response from Mexican civil society to this case involved people taking to the streets. The young have demanded the resignation of the President of Mexico, Jose Peña Nieto, as well as the end of the fear. The governor of Guerrero resigned earlier last month.
28,000 persons have gone missing over the last decade in Mexico, with the worst numbers during the administration of President Felipe Calderon who was replaced by Pena Nieto. There was also a spike in murder rates, though they are nowhere close to El Salvador, or Guatemala. They are though a product of the war on drugs, which has destabilized the country,
After the announcement from the Attorney General’s Office, there was a spontaneous march of over 1000 people from the Independence Angel in Mexico City to the officers of the PGR. They said that they were tired of the fear.
El Universal is reporting that Normalistas have taken over the government palace in Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero State. They have destroyed several vehicles and broken windows. They are demanding that the missing students be found alive. Moreover, there are rumors of marches to downtown Mexico City and a flash mob.
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