Mexican college students remain missing

By Candace Kellner
Staff Writer

APTOPIX Mexico Violence
AP Photo                                                                                                              A woman walks in front of images of the 43 college students who remain missing in Mexico City.

In Iguala, Mexico, investigators have found human remains at hidden graves sites and have arrested dozens of suspects they believe are involved in the disappearance of 43 Mexican college students.

Forensic experts came across 11 concealed graves that contained 38 bodies when they were searching for the missing students, according to CNN. While there has been no confirmation that these bodies belong to the missing students, they could very likely be tied to the case.

Protests are surging across the country as parents and loved ones grow increasingly frustrated with the case. The governor has taken a leave of absence, and Iguala’s former mayor and police chief, José Luis Abarca, has vanished, leading investigators to suspect Abarca, his wife and Iguala’s former police chief, Felipe Flores Velásquez.

Despite their findings, investigators are still unsure of the whereabouts of the students, who were studying to become schoolteachers at a rural college. Federal forces have arrested four more people suspected of involvement — two of whom are gang members who recall dealing with a “large group of people” around the time that the students went missing.

Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam told CNN that he is confident in the authorities findings.

“This brings us much closer to obtaining information,” Karam said. “With this, today we have the first declarations made by those who have confessed and participated on the night of Sept. 26 and in the early morning of the 27th in the disappearance and destination of this large group of people.”

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto met with the disgruntled parents of the missing students, who expressed concerns about the investigation. The parents stayed inside of the presidential residence for more than six hours and threatened to stay until Pena Nieto signed a document to satisfy everyone. In response, Pena Nieto announced in a televised conference that authorities are going to alter their search procedure.

“There will be a renewed search plan,” Pena Nieto said in the announcement.

Protesters are dissatisfied with the president’s response to their concerns, according to CNN. Rafael Lopez, father of one of the missing students, suggested that Mexico needs to get the U.S. involved.

“If they can’t do it, they should ask for help from the United States,” Lopez said.

Authorities have issued warrants for the arrests of Iguala’s mayor, his wife and Iguala’s former police chief, as well. Murillo said that they are the suspected organizers of the kidnapping and possible deaths of the students. At least 57 people have been arrested since the beginning of the case, but Abarca and his accomplices are still at large.