It’s been two weeks since 43 students disappeared in Southern Mexico after they were attacked by police in the city of Iguala.
But students from the Ayotzinapa rural teachers’ college are still searching for their classmates and hoping they will be found alive.
Fusion followed the students on one of these independent searches. We headed into dusty, remote towns in Mexico’s Guerrero state; places that have long been under the influence of drug trafficking groups.
Jailhouse confessions have led Mexican prosecutors to believe police may have detained the 43 students who went missing in Iguala and subsequently turned them over to drug traffickers, who executed them and buried them in clandestine graves.
But students at the Ayotzinapa rural teachers’ college — where all of the missing people were students — are skeptical of these explanations. They say that Guerrero state is dotted with mass graves that are the product of years of violence between drug gangs. And they’re demanding independent identification of at least 28 bodies that were recently found in clandestine graves on the outskirts of Iguala.
“The fact that they found those graves near the site of the attack [against students] does make you think a lot,” said an Ayotzinapa student leader, who asked be identified only as Misael. “But we are trying to be optimistic, and we think that they could still be alive. Our search will not stop until we’ve found the last missing student.”