The parents of the 43 students kidnapped four months ago in the southern state of Guerrero say Mexico's attorney general has no scientific proof to support his assertion that the youths were killed and their bodies burned.
”We repudiate the form in which the attorney general (Jesus Murillo Karam) is brazenly trying to close the probe into the events of Sept. 26 in violation of assurances given by President Enrique Peña Nieto, the spokesman for the families, Felipe de la Cruz, told a press conference on Wednesday.
We will not permit them to close the investigations with only the statements of the murderers, he said hours after Murillo Karam insisted that evidence and testimony fully confirm his office's theory of the crime.
The lawyer representing the students' families, Vidulfo Rosales, said he plans to travel to Geneva next week to denounce the Mexican government before the U.N. Committee on Enforced Disappearances.
Murillo Karam's office needs to carry out a broad and exhaustive investigation to learn the truth of the events, Rosales said, asserting that the government is in a hurry to close the case ahead of the June 7 mid-term congressional elections.
The AG's office has a long history of tailoring evidence and some of the statements by suspects in this case were obtained under coercion, he said.
Testimony from reputed members of a criminal organization cannot be treated as authoritative, Rosales said, referring to the official account's heavy reliance on information from suspects linked to the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel.
The lawyer for the families also spoke of seeing clear signals” that the government is ready to use force to suppress the movement demanding justice for the students.
Authorities have established that the 43 students from Ayotzinapa teachers college were seized by municipal police in Iguala, Guerrero, and handed over to members of Guerreros Unidos, who murdered the youths, burned the bodies at a dump in the nearby town of Cocula and dumped the bones into the San Juan River, Murillo Karam said Tuesday.
Forensic tests show the bodies were incinerated in a pit 40 meters (131 feet) deep, he told a press conference. The blaze, fueled by tires and kindling, reached a temperature of 1,600 C and raged for more than 12 hours, Murillo Karam said.
The heat of the fire rendered most of the remains recovered from the river unsuitable for DNA testing and the 17 fragments sent to a specialized laboratory in Austria for analysis were those that had the greatest possibility of being identified, he said.
The Austrian lab was able to match the remains to only one of the missing students, Alexander Mora.
While 99 people are in custody in connection with the massacre, including ousted Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca and wife Maria de los Angeles Pineda, six other suspects remain at large.
The federal government says the couple had ties to Guerreros Unidos and that the mayor ordered the students killed to prevent them from disrupting a political speech to be given by Pineda on the night of Sept. 26.