Mexico’s attorney general’s office said that the search for 43 missing students in the southern state of Guerrero has revealed at least 60 mass graves and 129 bodies over several months.
Forty-three student teachers from the Ayotzinapa Teacher Training College were kidnapped on the night of Sept. 26, 2014 by the police in the city of Iguala, in Guerrero. The police then handed over the students to United Warriors, a local gang.
None of the remains has been connected to the youths, the Associated Press (AP) reports, and authorities do not believe any will be, despite the ongoing investigation. Prosecutors told the press that the students were killed by the drug gang who then incinerated their bodies.
The information released by the attorney general’s office was in response to a freedom of information request by the AP. The numbers may be underreported, the attorney general’s office said, because the number of bodies and graves found from October to May only cover those instances in which Mexican mass grave specialists became involved.
The 129 remains found in the mass graves, 112 were determined to be male and 20 to be female. The rest have been undetermined, the attorney general’s office said. Only 16 sets of remains were identified as of July 13.
The AP reports that more than 20,000 people are listed as missing across Mexico, with many to have ‘disappeared’ in Guerrero state, infamous for its opium production and the drug cartel wars over territory and trafficking routes.
Ever since the 43 student teachers disappeared on September 26, 2014, demonstrations have been held on the 26th of each month. On Sunday, as before, a few hundred people led by parents of the missing students marched in Mexico City to draw attention to the case and to demand justice.
The BBC reports that the remains of only one student was found at a waste dump, but friends and family of the remaining 42 refuse to give up hope for a reconciliation.