MEXICO CITY – A second independent forensic investigation rejected on Tuesday the Mexican government’s conclusion that 43 students who went missing in 2014 were incinerated at a garbage dump.
The Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team said there was “no consistency between the physical evidence” and the testimony of drug gang suspects who claimed that the students were killed and burned at the site.
While the bone remains of at least 19 people were found at the dump in Cocula, southern Guerrero state, they “clearly do not belong” to the trainee teachers, said Miguel Nieva, a member of the Argentine team.
Nieva showed photos and studies of plants demonstrating that there was “not any sign of a recent fire in the vegetation” at the dump in Cocula, southern Guerrero state.
Nieva said there were several blazes at the landfill over the years since 2010, but “no fire occurred on the night of” Sept. 26 to 27, 2014, when the students vanished after they were detained by police in the nearby town of Iguala.
Former Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karám declared last year that the “historic truth” was that the students were delivered to a drug cartel, which killed them, incinerated their bodies at the dump and tossed the remains in a river.
One of the students was identified among the remains found in bags in the river. Authorities also found a possible DNA match for a second student.
But independent investigators from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights rejected the official conclusions in September, saying a fire expert found no scientific evidence of a massive funeral pyre at the dump.
Attorney General Arely Gómez has vowed to conduct a new forensic investigation with international experts while looking at other lines of investigation into the possible final destination of the students.