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Thursday, 7 April 2016

Experts say Mexico damaging probe of 43 missing students

© AFP/File | The parents of some of the 43 missing students from Ayotzinapa teachers school hold images of their children at the Benito Juarez monument in Mexico City on February 22, 2016
MEXICO CITY (AFP) -  Independent experts investigating the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico have threatened to stop working with government authorities, accusing them of manipulating the probe for political ends.
The team of experts was sent by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to try to shed light on the murky disappearance of the teacher's college students in the southern city of Iguala in September 2014.
They have been cooperating with Mexico's own investigators, but lashed out at them for releasing what the independent experts called an unfinished report without their consent.
"The group will not continue collaborating on this case if the process does not adhere to the terms agreed and international standards and only adds to the confusion and discredit," said Claudia Paz, the former attorney general of Guatemala and a member of the team.
The backlash came after prosecutors published what Paz called a "preliminary" report on an analysis of whether the students' bodies were burned at a garbage dump, as the Mexican authorities claim.
The report, the third forensic analysis of the possible crime scene, found that at least 17 bodies were burned at the dump.
But Paz told a press conference that releasing it unilaterally amounted to "political use" of the findings, which appear to support the Mexican authorities' version of events.
The independent experts said they are still waiting for an analysis of the amount of combustible material that would have been needed to burn so many bodies.
Prosecutors say police handed the 43 students over to members of a drug cartel, who killed them, incinerated their bodies and tossed the remains in a nearby river.
But the independent experts and Argentine forensic investigators have said there is no scientific proof that a large fire was set at the dump.
© 2016 AFP

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