6 Years After 43 Students Disappeared, Big News

For only the second time, remains have been found and identified
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2020 3:49 AM CDT
6 Years After 43 Students Disappeared, 2nd Body Is IDed
Mothers and relatives of the 43 students from the Isidro Burgos rural teachers college, with posters of their loved ones, walk to a Mass at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019.   (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

On Sept. 26, 2014, 43 undergraduate students at a Mexican teachers' college disappeared in rural Mexico, apparently abducted by local police. One bone fragment was found in December 2014 and identified as belonging to one of the missing students; since then, no other remains have been found—until now. The Mexican government announced Tuesday that forensic scientists have identified bone fragments found near the place where the students disappeared as belonging to Christian Alfonso Rodríguez Telumbre, the New York Times reports. The case has come to symbolize corruption in the country; the students are assumed to have been murdered, and while authority figures have been implicated, no one has been tried and the motive is still unclear.

The previous administration has been accused of lying about what happened and botching the investigation, the Guardian reports, and the students' families have long demanded a more thorough probe. "We have broken the pact of impunity and silence that surrounded” the case, the special prosecutor said in announcing the news. "Today we tell the families and society that the right to the truth will prevail." A director of a human rights organization representing the families says they expect the identification to be "the beginning of a new and serious investigation that once and for all clarifies what happened to every single one of the students." He adds that it was an anonymous tip that led investigators to the remains, which were found about a half-mile from the garbage dump where the previous administration insisted the bodies had been burned, which proves that narrative wrong. (More Mexico stories.)

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