By Charlotte Alfred/The Huffington Post
After a student protest in Iguala, Mexico, last month, dozens of young men were seen being hauled off into police vans. Then, they vanished.
One month later, 43 students from the Ayotzinapa rural teachers college are still missing and presumed dead. Instead of finding the students, authorities investigating the events of Sept. 26 have instead found other horrors: a string of mass graves, police working for drug cartels and government officials at the helm of a dark underworld.
The hunt for the students has laid bare the brutality and lawlessness in parts of Mexico still under the grip of the cartels, despite years of Mexico’s war on drugs.
Here are some of the disturbing findings of the Mexican government’s investigation:
Last Sighting Of The Students
The students — men in their late teens and early 20s — were studying to become teachers in rural Mexico at a college with a history of radical leftist activism, the BBC reported. That Friday, they went out to demonstrate against hiring discrimination and solicit funds for an upcoming protest march.
Witnesses have said that the students were in Iguala, a city in southern Mexico, when they came under fire from police.
By the end of the night, six people were left dead. The body of one student was later found with his face skinned and eyes gouged out, the New Yorker reported, “the signature of a Mexican organized-crime assassination.”
Some of the students escaped Iguala, but 43 of them have not been seen since that night. Survivors described their classmates being taken away by police, but authorities denied they were in state custody.
When the students didn’t return and relatives and sympathizers took to the streets in protest, Mexico’s federal government launched an investigation.
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