World

Mexico's missing students: Remains of Alexander Moro identified

At least one of 43 college students missing since September has been identified among charred remains found near a garbage dump, a Mexican official confirmed Saturday.

Family says it was informed by Argentine forensic team

Demonstrators join the relatives of 43 missing students from the Isidro Burgos rural teachers college for a protest in Mexico City on Saturday. At least one of the college students missing since September has been identified among charred remains found near a garbage dump, two Mexican officials confirmed Saturday. The students went missing Sept. 26. (Marco Ugarte/Associated Press)

At least one of 43 college students missing since September has been identified among charred remains found several weeks ago near a southern Mexico garbage dump, two government officials confirmed Saturday.

The two could not provide more details on how many of the students might have been identified. They agreed to speak about the development only if granted anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

A family member of a missing student told The Associated Press that the remains were of Alexander Mora. The families were given that information late Friday by an Argentine team of forensic experts working on behalf of the relatives and with the Attorney General's Office, said the man, who also would speak only on condition of anonymity.

Parents of the students declined comment, planning to address a crowd that gathered Saturday afternoon at a protest at the capital's Monument to the Revolution to demand the return of the students alive.

'We want justice'

Omar Garcia, a student at the march who attended the same rural teachers college in Ayotzinapa as the missing young men, relayed the reaction of Mora's father when he learned the fate of his son: "He will never give up. He will never get over his pain, but what he wants to tell all of you, and what we all want to say is this: We want justice!"

The students went missing Sept. 26 after confrontations with police in the Guerrero state city of Iguala that killed three students and three bystanders. Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam has said they were attacked by police on orders of Iguala's mayor, Jose Luis Abarca, who has since been removed from office and detained after going into hiding.

Prosecutors say the students were later turned over to a drug gang, which killed them. In announcing the finding of the remains, the attorney general said Nov. 7 that some detainees had told officials that they burned the 43 bodies at a dump site and bagged and threw their ashes in a river. Authorities are holding more than 70 people in the case.

The attorney general told the parents that the bone fragments left after the burning would be almost impossible to identify, leaving many relatives doubting the government's story. They had kept up the search for their sons, maintaining hope that they were still alive.

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