Relatives have always rejected the findings of the Mexican government’s official investigation into the fate of 43 students who went missing in September 2014. Now, nearly a year later, an independent inquiry has also dismissed the account, citing deep flaws.
The government said the bodies were burned at a rubbish dump just hours after the group went missing in Iguala, south west Mexico on September 26, 2014.
But the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) says there is no evidence of incineration in the area where the trainee teachers were allegedly cremated.
“The collected evidence of the vegetation, the condition of the rubbish dump, evidence of fire, etc, shows the minimum fire necessary for the cremation of the 43 bodies could not have occurred in the garbage dump in Cocula. After verifying the evidence, the group is convinced that the event did not occur in the rubbish dump in Cocula, under those conditions,” said Carlos Martin Beristain, a member of the independent group of experts.
Jose Torero, an expert from the University of Queensland, said it would have taken a combined 46 tonnes of tyres, wood and diesel a total of 60 hours to fully incinerate the bodies.
Relatives have accused the government of trying to cover up the alleged involvement of high-profile officials and even the army in the killings.
The IACHR report urges the Mexican government to keep looking for the missing student teachers.
In light of the independent inquiry’s findings, the Mexican government has ordered a new investigation.