September 26 2016
Ahead of the second anniversary of the disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students, security forces cracked down on protesters commemorating the students in Guerrero’s state capital of Chilpancingo on Sunday, physically assaulting and detaining some of those involved in the march.
“We strongly condemn the brutality with which the police behaved and their excessive use of force,” reads a statement from the parents’ committee, which was established after the Ayotzinapa students went missing on Sept. 26, 2014.
In the text, the committee reports that eight students and two peasants are missing from Sunday, seven protesters were detained and “brutally beaten” before later being released and three have been transferred to hospital with serious injuries.
“When the march concluded the police began firing teargas,” the parents’ statement reads. “The students tried to repel the aggression.”
The Attorney General of Mexico, or PGR, issued a statement ahead of the two-year anniversary saying it “reaffirms its commitment to society to investigate the crimes.”
“It is important to note that the investigation into the ‘Iguala Case’ remains open and that the Attorney General’s Office is working at all times to clarify the facts.”
The statement from the PGR goes on to claim the office’s investigation is one of the most “exhaustive” in Mexican law enforcement history.
The government’s official version claims local police apprehended the students, who had commandeered a bus to travel to a protest, and handed them over to a gang known as Guerreros Unidos.
According to authorities, the gang killed the students and burned their bodies in a garbage dump nearly 20 miles south of the town of Iguala, and then dumped the remains in the San Juan River near the town of Cocula.
But the parents, activists and human rights groups, both within Mexico and internationally, accuse President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration of trying to cover up the potential involvement of federal agents in the kidnapping and disappearances.
Forensic evidence, fire investigations, and satellite images have also repeatedly cast doubt on the government’s claims.
Earlier in September, relatives of the missing 43 cut off all dialogue with the Mexican government after the lead investigator resigned for allegedly tampering with evidence—and was then awarded a promotion.