Investigators probing the disappearance of 43 college students in Mexico announced four more arrests on Monday, hours after authorities found a new mass grave and a team of forensic experts began examining the remains.
Mexico’s Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said four members of Guerreros Unidos, the drug gang that authorities claim conspired with local police to kidnap the missing students, have been arrested. Two of the detainees admitted to participating in the disappearance of the students and told authorities they had “received a large group of people,” Karam said.
Karam said it was the first time authorities arrested suspects believed to be directly involved in the disappearance of the students.
Officials found a mass grave near a landfill in Cocula, a small town in the state of Guerrero, some 30 minutes from Iguala, the municipality where the students were initially detained by local policemen. Mexican soldiers and federal police with helicopters and search dogs surrounded the area on Monday.
A forensic team that includes a group of Argentine specialists is working to identify the bodies. Mexican media have reported the team has uncovered bones.
The mayor of Cocula, Cesar Miguel Peñaloza Santana, was detained by federal forces in late September on suspicion of having links to organized crime.
A month after the students disappeared, Mexican authorities have found more than ten mass graves but offered no details about where they believe the students are. Fifty-six people have been detained in connection with the case, which has triggered large-scale protests across the country from Mexicans demanding justice.
For more, see Fusion's full coverage of the Ayotzinapa case.