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  • Relatives and activists hold paintings during a protest to demand justice for the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa, in Mexico City.

    Relatives and activists hold paintings during a protest to demand justice for the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa, in Mexico City. | Photo: Reuters

Published 24 April 2017

The students' relatives say authorities aren't interested in solving the case and instead have a "political strategy" of burying it once and for all. 

Parents of Mexico's 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students have accused the government of attempting to quietly shut down investigations into the case and continued demonstrating in Mexico City Monday to criticize government complicity and demand justice for the students.

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The family members gathered outside a court in Mexico City to demand that Tomas Zeron, the former chief investigator on the Ayotzinapa case, face justice for severe irregularities he brought to the case.

A panel of international experts reported that Zeron had planted evidence and tortured potential witnesses and suspects, actions which not only sabotaged the investigation but also called into question its conclusion that the 43 students had been killed by a local drug cartel and burned in a garbage dump — a version of events that has been repeatedly rejected by the families and international experts.

Monday's demonstration comes after the relatives also demonstrated Sunday in Mexico City, walking towards the Angel of Independence at the famous Reforma avenue of the capital city to slam the government for not doing enough to find the students, who went missing from the Ayotzinapa teacher training college in Iguala, Guerrero, in September 2014.

Vidulfo Rosales, a lawyer for the parents, blamed Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong for trying to close the case, which he argued was motivated by Chong's hopes of "not having this shadow that tarnishes his intended way to the presidency of the republic."

The families allege that the fact that the investigation has not gone forward is not due to lack of resources, but part of a "political strategy" directed by the Ministry of the Interior to definitively close the case.

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The parents reiterated a decision Sunday to continue an indefinite stand in front of the attorney general's office until concrete progress is made in investigating the whereabouts of the students and truth and justice are reached, said Rosales. The protesters were joined by other students from the Ayotzinapa training college.

The 43 students — from the largely Indigenous teachers' college renowned for its activism — were on their way to a protest in Mexico City on Sept. 26, 2014, when they were pulled over by local police. They have been missing ever since.

In the two years since the disappearance, the parents, several independent investigations have uncovered evidence that challenges the official government claim that the students were murdered by a local drug gang and burned in a garbage dump. Independent investigations have also pointed to high levels of state involvement in the disappearances.

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