A team of experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR) released their final report on Sunday following a six-month investigation into the disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa teacher training students in the Mexican town of Iguala last September.
The report’s findings dispute the official version provided by the Mexican attorney general’s office, which speculates that the victims were burned to ashes in the nearby town of Cocula.
"That event never took place," said one of the investigators, Carlos Beristain, citing evidence from the site. "There should be a refocusing of the investigation based on these facts."
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In their report, the team of experts concluded that there is “no evidence” to support the claims put forth by the Mexican government.
The government version of events has also been disputed by international forensic teams and reputable scientists from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
The group of experts also mentioned a line of investigation that was never even considered by the government, which would, however, explain the violence with which police and the local drug gang Guerreros Unidos or United Warriors behaved during the attack against the student, and which has to do with the trafficking of heroin and cocaine out of Guerrero.
They said that according to Paul Vega, a United Warriors member detained in by the DEA in the U.S., buses are commonly and widely used to transport drugs out of Iguala. So, in this context, there was allegedly an order to not allow any buses out of Iguala in September 2014, possibly due to information that rival group was about to send a shipment of drugs northbound.
In response to the findings, Mexico’s Attorney General Arely Gomez told the media on Sunday that she would order a new investigation in order to establish whether the students were in fact allegedly burned in the dump.
The Mexican government also agreed on Monday to extend the experts' term so they can conclude their investigation.
Thus far, the remains of only one of the 43 disappeared students, Alexander Mora, were identified by a forensic scientist from Austria.
During Sunday’s press conference, the IAHCR investigators were unable to fully establish what happened to the “Iguala disappeared,” stating that there is still much unknown regarding the events that took place.
The search for the students has caused widespread public outrage sparking political criticism toward Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto over his government's failure to improve security in the country, where today, over 23,000 people remain disappeared, while over 100,000 have died in the war against drugs that former President Felipe Calderon declared in 2006.
Following the international backlash over the case, the Peña Nieto government, along with the parents of the victims, signed a technical agreement with the IACHR on Nov. 18, 2014, for the IAHCR to provide technical assistance in the search for the missing students.
However, last August, the IACHR commission issued complaints denouncing irregularities in the investigation and complained about a lack of cooperation on the part of the Mexican authorities.
The IACHR team comprises of: Chilean lawyer Francisco Cox; Claudia Paz y Paz, a well known Guatemalan human rights lawyer and former attorney general; Ángela Buitrago, a Colombian lawyer specialised in penal law and criminology; Carlos Beristáin, a Spanish doctor; and Alejandro Valencia Villa, a Colombian human rights lawyer.