Country horrified as parents say they will only accept students are dead if DNA tests confirm the confessions.
Mexico shocked by students’ massacre
Furious protesters burned several vehicles and threw firebombs at a southern Mexican state’s headquarters on Saturday after authorities indicated that gang hitmen slaughtered 43 missing students.
More than 300 students, many wearing masks, descended on the Guerrero government headquarters and burned around 10 vehicles, including trucks.
Mexico was confronted with one of the grisliest massacres in years of drug violence after gang suspects confessed to slaughtering 43 missing students and dumping their charred remains in a river.
The confessions may have brought a tragic end to the mystery, but parents of the victims refuse to accept they are dead until DNA tests confirm their identities, saying the government has repeatedly told them lies.
“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.
Al Jazeera’s Rachel Levin, reporting from Mexico City, said the remains have been sent to Austria for forensic examination.
“Families insist on getting independent verification of the DNA as they don’t trust the state authorities. These children were kidnapped by police forces,” Levin said.
Three suspected Guerreros Unidos gang members told investigators that local police handed them the students between the southern towns of Iguala and Cocula.
In taped confessions, the suspects said they bundled the 43 in the back of two trucks, took them to a nearby landfill, killed them and used fuel, wood, tyres and plastic to burn their bodies for 14 hours.
If the confessions are true, the mass murder would rank among the worst massacres in a drug war that has killed more than 80,000 people and left 22,000 others missing since 2006.
Authorities have arrested 74 people, including the ousted mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, his wife Maria de los Angeles Pineda, 36 police officers and several Guerreros Unidos operatives. (Al Jazeera and agencies)