Things That Matter

Investigators May Have Found Remains Of The 43 Mexican Students Who Have Been Missing For 5 Years

In 2014, 43 students from a teacher’s college in Ayotzinapa went missing. Now, investigators have found human remains that may clue them in on what exactly happened to the missing college students. 

The Mexican government had initially concluded that local corrupt police officers were in the pocket of the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel mistakenly believed the students were a part of a rival gang. The officers were said to have turned the students over to the cartel who killed them and dumped them in a landfill. 

The students’ parents did not accept this version of events and led various protests to demand answers from the state. They were vindicated when an independent investigation using forensic analysis discovered the government’s findings were impossible. When President Andres Manual Lopez Obrador took office in 2018 he vowed to solve this mystery. 

Investigators found human remains that may uncover what really happened.

A lawyer for some of the victims’ parents, Vidulfo Rosales told Mexico News Daily, that remains discovered by the National Search Commission surrounding Iguala, where the students went missing, will be analyzed by the government and foreign third parties. 

“The new hypothesis is that there was a situation in municipalities that neighbor Iguala that was not known before,” Rosales said. 

While the government’s initial theory was that the students were burned in a Cocula garbage dump, the new theory suggests that the students may have been separated and spread across municipalities. The Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts believes that the 43 young men unwittingly took a cartel bus filled with heroin that was supposed to go to the United States. 

There were five buses transporting students from the college to a protest, but the bus with the missing 43 was the only one stopped by federal police.

The previous administration may have been covering up what really happened.

Following the incident, all traces of the official case file disappeared. Later on, an independent investigation found that authorities had used torture tactics to coerce confessions from suspects. 

The case hasn’t been able to make any progress because the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts’ efforts were thwarted by the previous government that refused to renew their mandate in 2016. AMLO promised to open an investigation after taking office, but 2019 saw little progress. 

Last September, 21 municipal police officers that were arrested in connection with the missing students were released from prison. 

“The judge ordered the officers’ release on the grounds that statements they made to prosecutors in the previous government were obtained by illegal means, including torture,” according to Mexico News Daily

However, human rights undersecretary Alejandro Encinas believed the move was a miscarriage of justice. Encinas believes the judge failed to follow a legal precedent which decrees that when evidence was obtained through torture a new investigation must occur rather than the automatic acquittal of the defendant. Encinas also noted that the judge set free those who were tortured but made no effort to hold those who did the alleged torturing accountable. The same judge had previously released a suspect in the case two weeks before. 

“The judge interpreted the law with a lot of laxity . . . He didn’t impart justice and caused serious damage to the search for truth,” Encinas said.

In total, 77 out of 142 suspects have been released after judges found the convicting evidence was obtained unlawfully. 

2020 might bring answers about the missing 43.

“We still don’t know what happened. We are overwhelmed, stuck,” Antonio Tizapa, father of one of the missing student’s named Jorge. “And after five years of demanding justice, five years fighting to keep the case open, it’s unreal that we still can’t find them.” 

With possible remains uncovered, the families of the victims said they would give AMLO two months (starting in November) to make progress in the case. The remains will be analyzed in Mexico, the Institute of Legal Medicine at the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria, and experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

In the past 12 years, 47,000 people have disappeared in Mexico, according to NBC News

“Politics affects us on both sides of the border,” he said. “But what happened to my son is happening to many other children in Mexico and the United States.”

Indigenous Communities In Guerrero, Mexico Have Been Terrorized For Years—Last Week 10 Men Were Ambushed And Killed By A Drug Cartel

Things That Matter

Indigenous Communities In Guerrero, Mexico Have Been Terrorized For Years—Last Week 10 Men Were Ambushed And Killed By A Drug Cartel

Tony Rivera / Getty

Ten indigenous musicians were shot dead and burned in an ambush in western Mexico.

The horrible crime is believed to have been carried out by a drug cartel, that has been terrorizing indigenous groups in Guerrero Mexico for nearly 20 years.

The members of the Nahua indigenous group were returning from a party when they were attacked in the town of Chilapa in Guerrero state.

The victims, part of the Sensación Musical group, were returning to their Alcozacán community on Friday after playing the day before, said David Sánchez Luna, co-ordinator of the regional indigenous group known as CRAC-PF. Gunmen attacked their vehicle at around 14:00 local time in Mexcalcingo, he said. The victims, all men, were aged between 15 and 42.

The ‘Los Ardillos cartel’, which frequently targets indigenous people in the area, was blamed for the attack.

For over 20 years, Los Ardillos have been trafficking drugs in the mountainous region of Guerrero —throughout this time they have infamously extorted and kidnapped locals to consolidate their power and domain.

The rural ex-cop Celso Ortega Rosas, nicknamed ‘La Ardilla’, was involved in the business of poppy crops in the region of Quechultenango Guerrero, and he is the founder of the criminal group.

According to a 2015 article on El Universal, los Ardillos started kidnapping and extorting people. They gave their victims a 24 hour period to vacate their homes before taking possession of the property.  In 2008, Celso Ortega Rosas was detained for the kidnapping of a woman, the homicide of two agents of the former ‘Subprocuraduría de Investigación Especializada en Delincuencia Organizada (SEIDO)’ a body that has since dissolved and was focused on undercover investigations in the center of Guerrero state.

When the bodies of the victims were found, they were beyond recognition.

After authorities refused to release them to the families, hundreds of indigenous people blocked a road on Friday night, according to La Jornada newspaper.

Authorities shared the names of the deceased victims.

The men who lost their lives were: José Julio y Cándido Fiscaleño Hilario; Crescenciano Migueleño Coapango; Israel Tolentino Ahuelican; Israel Mendoza Pasado; Regino Fiscaleño Chautla; Antonio Mendoza Tolentino; Lorenzo Linares Jiménez; Juan Joaquín; y Marcos Fiscaleño Baltazar.

The Guerrero prosecutor’s office said it was investigating the case.

Guerrero is one of Mexico’s most violent states, where drug gangs fight for control of trafficking routes to the Pacific and other parts of the country. Los Ardillos have been linked to dozens of deaths in recent months, including many indigenous people, according to local media.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has opted for a non-confrontational approach to the cartel.

Focusing, instead, on tackling inequality central to his efforts under a policy dubbed “abrazos, no balazos” – hugs not bullets. But this policy has come under fire after a number of high-profile attacks, including an ambush in which nine members of a Mormon community were killed. The president vowed to create a new National Guard to tackle violence, but few have signed up to the force amid fear of being killed on the job.

The Steelers Will Have Their International Game This Year, And They Want To Play In Mexico For Their Fans

Entertainment

The Steelers Will Have Their International Game This Year, And They Want To Play In Mexico For Their Fans

steelers / Instagram

It’s official, the Steelers will have their international game this year, but the place is not yet confirmed. Previous exhibition games were held in Montreal, Barcelona, London, and Tokyo. It’s been years since the team competed directly south of the border. And since Mexico is the home to one of largest fan bases of the Pittsburgh Steelers, they want to play their international game against the Jacksonville Jaguars south of the border

This time, the Pittsburgh Steelers are looking forward to playing in Mexico. 

The Steelers are happy to play an international game, but they have a clear preference for where that game would be. The president of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Art Rooney, said, “We continue to raise our hand and say we’re interested in playing a game in Mexico.”  

The Steelers are expected to have an international game this year like they have in previous years.

One of them is their match against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Meanwhile, it has been rumored that the Jaguars will have a game in London sometime this year.

People are already showing their excitement on social media because who doesn’t want to see the Steelers playing in Mexico.

“I need the best seat for the event of the year” tweeted one user. “I’ll sell my soul to be there,” wrote another die-hard fan. 

Mexico is home to a large portion of the Steeler Nation.

Steeler Nation, as their fans call themselves, proudly wear black and gold in Mexico. Fernando Camacho, a Mexican fan shared this saying in Spanish in an interview with ‘Behind the Steel curtain’, “Mi Corazon y mi alma son Amarillo y negro pero mi pasion y mi orgullo son de acero.” (My heart and soul are Black and Gold, but my passion and pride are made of steel.)

So naturally, the team’s first choice for an international game is to play in Mexico.

Rooney added during an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that, “They have to work out the logistics and all the pieces of the puzzle to have a game down there. Our first choice would be to play a game in Mexico if we have an international trip.” 

The Steelers have a history with Mexico that runs deep.

The Steelers played the Vikings in London in 2013, but have a longer history with Mexico. They played an exhibition game there in 2000, and have conducted clinics there in the past to try to drum up interest. They’ve also played in exhibition games in Toronto, Montreal, Barcelona, Tokyo, and Dublin. Rooney said that they prefer to have it in Mexico where they have a large number of fans. Mexico is also a neutral ground for both teams. 

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