Experts reject Mexican government’s account of how 43 missing students were killed

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

The saga of the missing 43 students in Mexico has taken yet another twist.

A new report from a team of international experts questions the Mexican government’s official account of the abduction and apparent massacre of the students last year. Officials in Mexico have said the students were killed by drug traffickers and their bodies burned in a garbage dump.

But a six-month independent investigation by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights concluded it is “scientifically impossible” that the bodies of the 43 students were burned.

According to the government’s account, the students were abducted by police in the city of Iguala on Sept. 26 of last year after they attempted to hold a protest at an event organized by the wife of the city’s mayor. Police allegedly then handed the students over to a drug gang known as Guerreros Unidos that executed them and burned their bodies at a dump. The body remains were crushed and thrown in a river.


Several months after the students' disappearance, the Mexican government released videotaped confessions of gang members who said they participated in the massacre, later confirmed the deaths of all 43 students with “legal certainty.”

Released on Sunday, the new report rejects the government’s claims. Investigators said they visited the dump and found little evidence to support the government’s version of what happened. To burn the 43 bodies at the dump, a fire would have needed to burn for more than two days, and there were no reports of clouds of smoke in the area, the report said.

The report also concluded that the Mexican federal police and army failed to respond after learning the students had been attacked.

After the report was made public, President Enrique Peña Nieto urged government investigators to take into account the report’s findings. Attorney General Arely Gomez also said she will conduct a new investigation at the Cocula dump site.


You can read the full report here: