Mexican authorities have reasserted the official version of what happened to the 43 Ayotzinapa students who disappeared in September 2014, amid ongoing protests that the state’s role in the kidnappings and killings is being concealed. In a press conference on Tuesday, January 27, Attorney-General Jesús Murillo Karam reiterated that the students were killed, and their bodies burnt and disposed in a nearby garbage dump.
“The students were mistakenly identified as being members of an antagonistic criminal gang in the area,” said the official. “That is the reason why they were deprived of their liberty and then their lives.”
Karam’s statement comes after the arrest of the alleged Guerros Unidos cartel leader Felipe Rodríguez Salgado. Salgado, according to Karam, admitted that the cartel kidnapped the students after confusing them with members of Los Rojos, another group operating in the state of Guerrero.
Karam told press that he has marshalled roughly 500 hundred expert reports and 386 testimonies, made 99 arrests, and examined several cell phone records, in support of the official hypothesis.
On Monday, tens of thousands took the streets of Mexico City in four simultaneous marches that converged in the main square of the city, as part of the eighth Global Action for Ayotzinapa. Demonstrations also took place in the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, and Spain.
Parents of the missing students are convinced that the authorities are concealing key evidence, and have pointed out “inconsistencies” in the attorney-general’s version.
“They’ve been repeating the same thing since the beginning. We don’t believe in the declarations of the detainees, which are always disclosed long after they take place in order to prepare and fabricate them,” said Felipe de la Cruz, spokesman for the students’ parents, in a radio interview.
“We will keep up the fight until we have a scientific truth, because they were taken alive, and we want them back alive, he added.