Gang suspects allegedly confess to the mass murder of 43 missing students; demonstrators rally against corrupt government forces
By Deirdre Fulton | Common Dreams
Protests raged in Mexico on Saturday after suspects confessed to the alleged massacre of 43 student-teachers who have been missing since late September.
During a televised appearance on Friday, attorney general Jesus Murillo Karam announced that two suspects had led authorities to trash bags believed to contain the burned remains of the students. According to the Associated Press, Murillo Karam “played video showing hundreds of charred fragments of bone and teeth fished from the river and its banks.” The remains have been sent to Austria for examination, but officials say it will be very difficult to extract DNA to confirm the identities.
Some parents of the missing youths, who were allegedly abducted by local police in the southern state of Guerrero on September 26, refuse to accept they are dead until DNA tests are complete. They accuse the government of mishandling the case and lying to relatives.
“It appears that the federal government, with great irresponsibility, is interested in closing this matter because it’s all based in testimony. There is nothing definitive,” Meliton Ortega, uncle of a missing student, told AFP news agency on Saturday.
“Families insist on getting independent verification of the DNA as they don’t trust the state authorities,” Al Jazeera‘s Rachel Levin reported from Mexico City. “These children were kidnapped by police forces.”
At the National Palace in Mexico City on Saturday, a group of demonstrators slammed metal barricades against the door and briefly set it on fire but could not get into the building, which is mostly used by President Enrique Pena Nieto for ceremonies.
In Guerrero, hundreds of demonstrators—many of them students wearing masks—also burned several vehicles and threw firebombs at the government headquarters.
The Guardian reports that “off-the-cuff comment” by the attorney general to cut off Friday’s news conference “has been taken up by protesters as a rallying cry against Mexico’s corruption and drug trade-fueled violence.”
According to the paper:
After an hour of speaking, Murillo abruptly signalled for an end to questions by turning away from reporters and saying, ‘Ya me canse’ a phrase meaning ‘Enough, I’m tired.’
Within hours, the phrase became a hashtag linking messages on Twitter and other social networks. It continued to trend globally Saturday and began to emerge in graffiti, in political cartoons and in video messages posted to YouTube.
Many turned the phrase on the attorney general: ‘Enough, I’m tired of Murillo Karam,’ says one. Another asks: ‘If you’re tired, why don’t you resign?’
This article originally appeared on Common Dreams.