Mexico City – Relatives and supporters of 43 missing Mexican students have protested on the streets of the Mexico’s capital, demanding to know what happened to their loved ones.
It has been more than a year since the students disappeared. They are believed to be have been murdered by drug gangs.
Neither information of their whereabouts nor confirmation of their death has been released to the families with the government facing accusations it is hiding the truth.
Hundreds protested in Mexico City on Saturday afternoon and among chants heard was a scathing condemnation of the government.
“These are the people who are destroying our country,” the protesters said.
Arturo Guerrero, a protester, said: “I have seen repression, and the social demands have been growing because people are disappearing.
“Now we are demanding the government gives us the students back alive.”
According to the government, bodies of the students were burnt and made identification impossible.
The group was kidnapped while trying to hijack buses for transport, a common move for students in Mexico, according to independent investigators who added that the government had lied and held information from the families.
“Fortunately, the parents protests last year and legal action have helped discredit the government’s version of events,” said Bidulfo Rosales, an attorney for the families.
The Mexican government is refusing to order a new inquiry, and the families of those missing have consequently attempted to commission a new independent inquiry.
But experts say they need government cooperation to expose the truth.
The case of the missing students is seen as reflective of the country’s wider problems with organised crime – across Mexico, 20,000 people are missing.
Drug cartels have become a powerful fixture of everyday life: threatening journalists, and existing with deep influence in political, judicial, and security institutions.