Remains of massacred Mexican student identified

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A forensics lab in Austria believes it has established the identity of a second Mexican student feared massacred last year. He is one of 43 young people missing, whose ashes were found in a river.

The remains of 21-year-old Jhosivani Guerrero de la Cruz, one of a group of 43 Mexican college students who went missing last year, has been identified.

Mexico’s Attorney General Arely Gomez said forensics experts at the University of Innsbruck in Austria had carried out DNA sampling on the charred remains, amid concerns the tests may not be 100 percent accurate.

Guerrero de la Cruz is the second victim to be identified after fellow student Mora Venancio’s identity was established last December.

The youngsters disappeared from the town of Omeapa, in the southern state of Guerrero, on September 26, in a crime that shocked the nation.

A Mexican government investigation said the group had seized buses for political activities which were shot at by local police. The students were then detained before being handed over to a drug gang. They were then massacred by incineration in a giant pyre at a garbage dump, and their bagged ashes were discarded in a nearby river.

Earlier this year, officials said that most of the remains were too charred to extract DNA material from.

An Argentinean forensics team who previously carried out work on the remains has questioned whether the identification was 100 percent reliable.

An independent panel of experts believes the government’s account of what happened was deeply flawed, adding that a fire hot enough to incinerate 43 bodies did not occur in the dump.

Another team of investigators is now set to review 63,000 bone fragments collected in the case.

Gomez has called for a new investigation into the youngsters’ deaths.

Families of the students voiced doubts again following the announcement. They are due to meet with President Enrique Pena Nieto later this month.

 

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