Remains could be that of student in 43 Mexican missing
MEXICO CITY – Agence France-Presse
Relatives of the 43 missing students protest with their portraits at the central square in Chilpancingo, Guerrero State, Mexico on September 15, 2015. AFP PhotoThe remains of a second of 43 missing Mexican students have possibly been identified, authorities said on Sept.16, almost a year after a crime that rocked President Enrique Pena Nieto's administration.
Attorney General Arely Gomez said forensic experts from Austria's Innsbruck University found "indications that establish a possible match" between Jhosivani Guerrero de la Cruz, 21, and DNA extracted from a bone.
In December, the university positively identified 19-year-old Alexander Mora among a set of 17 charred remains.
In January, the attorney general's office said Innsbruck University had failed to identify more remains using traditional DNA analyses and would have to conduct other techniques that ran the risk of destroying genetic samples.
The Sept.16 announcement came more than a week after the official investigation was questioned by an independent probe.
Prosecutors concluded last year that local police in the southern city of Iguala shot at buses that the unarmed students had seized on the night of September 26-27 for their political activities.
The officers delivered 43 students to the Guerreros Unidos drug gang, which killed them, burned their bodies at a garbage dump and tossed the ashes in a river, according to prosecutors, who declared that it was the "historic truth."
But experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) said last week that it was scientifically impossible for the students to have been incinerated at the landfill.
The remains sent to Austria were found in a bag in the river. IACHR experts said the bag was found an hour's drive from the garbage dump, suggesting that they could have been burned elsewhere.
Following the IACHR report, the attorney general's office continued to insist that a funeral pyre was used to burn the students at the site, though it now says that maybe they were not all incinerated there.
"A large group of students was burned there, without being able to confirm that it was all 43, but it was a large group of students," Tomas Zeron, the director of investigations at the attorney general's office, said last week.
Families of the students have never trusted the government and voiced doubts again on Sept.16 following Gomez's announcement.
Felipe de la Cruz, a spokesman for the families, said he could not "trust the voice of a government that has always lied and is trying to rescue the 'historic truth' on the basis of not very clear results."
Relatives of the students will meet on September 24 with Pena Nieto, whose approval rating has plummeted in the face of protests over his government's handling of the case.
Gomez said the latest DNA results would be integrated into the investigation and that a judge would issue a ruling on them.
The results were handed to attorneys of the families and forensic experts who are helping the investigation.
"It is the belief of the government and a social requirement that we have full certainty regarding these terrible events that harm and hurt Mexican society," said Gomez, who has ordered a new forensic investigation at the garbage dump.