In Mexico, parents of missing students vow search will continue Slain Mexican … – CNN

Posted: Sunday, December 07, 2014

(CNN) — Ezequiel Mora’s voice trembled as he revealed the news.

Investigators used DNA testing from a bone fragment to confirm that they’d found his 19-year-old son’s remains in a plastic bag, he told CNN en Español.

“They gave me the news that my son is now … he is now dead,” Mora said.

Alexander Mora Venancio was one of 43 students from a rural teacher’s college in Mexico’s Guerrero state who went missing on September 26.

Alexander Mora Venancio

Official: 1 missing student identified

Riot police march to confront protesters near the airport in Mexico City on Thursday, November 20. Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in Mexico's capital city after tensions have mounted over the disappearance of 43 college students in September.Riot police march to confront protesters near the airport in Mexico City on Thursday, November 20. Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in Mexico’s capital city after tensions have mounted over the disappearance of 43 college students in September.
A protester holds up a poster parodying Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto during a rally in Mexico City on November 20.A protester holds up a poster parodying Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto during a rally in Mexico City on November 20.
A woman holds flowers and a candle as marchers past during the November 20 demonstration.A woman holds flowers and a candle as marchers past during the November 20 demonstration.
Police guard the National Palace in Mexico City as protesters and police clash.Police guard the National Palace in Mexico City as protesters and police clash.
Demonstrators clash with riot police.Demonstrators clash with riot police.
An injured protester gets first aid in Mexico City.An injured protester gets first aid in Mexico City.
People on the base of a monument watch and cheer on marchers in Mexico City.People on the base of a monument watch and cheer on marchers in Mexico City.
Protesters gather at the Angel of Independence monument in Mexico City.Protesters gather at the Angel of Independence monument in Mexico City.
A protester cries as police attempt to detain her and human rights observers try to reach her during a march near the Mexico City airport.A protester cries as police attempt to detain her and human rights observers try to reach her during a march near the Mexico City airport.
A protester lights a firework as demonstrators march November 20.A protester lights a firework as demonstrators march November 20.
Riot police surround protesters who had thrown Molotov cocktails and destroyed vehicles in Mexico City.Riot police surround protesters who had thrown Molotov cocktails and destroyed vehicles in Mexico City.
A police officer falls after a protester threw a Molotov cocktail.A police officer falls after a protester threw a Molotov cocktail.
Students place school desks with photos of the 43 missing students in a plaza at Mexico's National Autonomous University in Mexico City on November 20.Students place school desks with photos of the 43 missing students in a plaza at Mexico’s National Autonomous University in Mexico City on November 20.

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Protests over missing Mexican studentsProtests over missing Mexican students

Forty-three students remain missing after armed men ambushed buses carrying students in southern Mexico on on September 26 .The Mexican state of Guerrero posted images and offered a reward of 1 million pesos ($74,000) for information leading to the missing students. Images of three missing students were not available.Forty-three students remain missing after armed men ambushed buses carrying students in southern Mexico on on September 26 .The Mexican state of Guerrero posted images and offered a reward of 1 million pesos ($74,000) for information leading to the missing students. Images of three missing students were not available.

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Photos: Missing Mexican studentsPhotos: Missing Mexican students

Authorities have said they believe the students’ remains were burned at a landfill, then placed inside plastic bags and thrown into a river. But so far, Alexander Mora’s remains are the only ones that have been identified.

Federal authorities say they heard confessions from drug traffickers indicating that the college students were rounded up on the orders of a local mayor and then delivered to the drug gang to be murdered.

Mounting fury over government officials’ response to — and possible role in — the students’ disappearance has fueled demonstrations across the country.

At a protest in Mexico City on Saturday night, a group of parents said the search for the rest of the group is not over, despite the announcement.

“My son, wherever you are, I’ll keep looking for you, even if my heart is breaking by the news,” one father said.

Felipe de la Cruz, a spokesman for the students’ families, said they received confirmation of Alexander Mora’s death Friday from Argentine forensic experts who are working on behalf of the families. But he said the families still believe the remaining students are alive.

“If these murderers think that with a DNA match of one of our boys, we are going to stop and cry, we want to tell them that they have been mistaken, that after today, this day of action will continue until we find the remaining 42 alive,” he said.

At a news conference Sunday, Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam confirmed that Alexander Mora’s remains had been found. He showed images of the garbage dump and the river, read from a detailed DNA analysis from scientists at Austria’s Innsbruck University and vowed that the investigation would keep going.

“Based on my own conviction and the orders of the President, we’re going to continue with this investigation until we detain all the culprits,” Murillo said.

So far, 44 police officers have been arrested inthe case, and authorities are searching for 16 others, he said.

Authorities have accused Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca of being the “probable mastermind” in the students’ disappearance. He’s been charged with six counts of aggravated homicide and one count of attempted homicide and is now being held in a federal prison, authorities said.

In all, at least 80 people have been arrested in the disappearances and the deaths, and the governor of Guerrero has taken a leave of absence amid scorching criticism that he responded too slowly to what’s been called one of the most serious human rights abuses in recent Latin American history.

Families of the missing students have said for weeks that they don’t accept the official version and demand proof of what happened.

This weekend, Alexander Mora’s cousin told CNN en Español that she was unconvinced by the DNA match.

“I don’t believe he’s dead,” she said. “What about the rest of them? I feel like they’re just deceiving us.”

Crying for justice, clinging to hope

Top local cop arrested in case

CNN’s Claudia Dominguez, Mariano Castillo, Krupskaia Alis, Michael Martinez and Jaqueline Hurtado and CNNMexico’s Mauricio Torres contributed to this report.



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