CHILPANCINGO, Mexico – Some of the bodies found in the mass graves in southern Mexico are not those of the 43 students missing since Sept. 26, Guerrero Gov. Angel Aguirre said.
“I can tell you that some of the bodies, according to the advances made in the forensic investigation, do not correspond to those of the young people from Ayotzinapa,” the governor said in a press conference in the city of Iguala on Saturday.
There is still hope that the missing students “are alive and will return to their homes,” Aguirre said, adding that the search for the missing students from the teachers college in Ayotzinapa was moving into its second phase.
Municipal police in Iguala fired shots at a group of students who had commandeered a bus on Sept. 26, part of a night of violence that left six people, including three students from a teacher training college in the rural town of Ayotzinapa, dead; 25 others injured; and 43 trainee teachers missing.
The missing students were last seen being forced into police vans.
The murky series of events also included an attack on a bus carrying members of a Third-Division soccer team.
The students detained by municipal police officers were later handed over to the Guerreros Unidos gang, which took them to an unknown location to kill them, investigators said.
The Ayotzinapa Normal School, whose students are known for their political activism, includes among its alumni Lucio Cabañas Barrientos and Genaro Vazquez Rojas, who led leftist guerrilla groups in the 1960s and 1970s.
Authorities plan to intensify the search for the missing students in the next phase of the operation, distributing pamphlets and placing notices in newspapers, the governor said.
Federal prosecutors are handling the investigation and the priority is to find the missing students, Aguirre said.