Corruption in Mexico: Government linked in 43 Deaths


After scuba divers scoured the basin of the San Juan River, the supposed remains of 43 missing Mexican students that disappeared over a month earlier, on September 26, were discovered.

On their way to protest a lack of government funded education in Iguala, Mexico, 43 students from a university for teachers in Ayotzinapa, a nearby town, were blocked by cops. At this encounter, three students were shot and killed by the police and the rest were rounded up and taken to the police station. From there, the police handed the students over to the Guerreros Unidos (United Warriors), a local gang. The Guerreros Unidos transported the students to a dump, where the students were questioned about their involvement in other gangs; Few students were believed to actually have contact with any gangs. The students were then killed and burned, and their remains shoved in trash bags. As searches were made for any signs of remains, a mass grave was discovered. However, after DNA tests were run, none of the results matched with that of the students. So, the search continued, leading to the scuba diver’s discovery of remains, believed to be the student’s, at the bottom of the San Juan River.

The mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca and his wife, Maria de los Ángeles Pineda Villa, as well as the town’s public safety director, Felipe Flores Velásquez, have been arrested and accused of involvement in the disappearance of the 43 students. As the brains behind the disappearance, the ex-mayor gave orders to the public safety director to intercept the students and prevent the protest. The prosecutors of the Mexican state of Guerrero, have charged Abarca with six counts of aggravated homicide and one count of attempted homicide. Fifty three others, both gang members and cops, linked in the case have been arrested, as well.

Some families of the students refuse to believe the remains found in the San Juan River are their children, insisting they are still alive. The disappearance is still to be further investigated and DNA tests are to be run to confirm the identities of the human remains; however, most officials believe these to be the student’s remains. As the case continues, protests have erupted. Throughout Mexico, hopes have risen that justice will be served.