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Mexico is reopening the investigation into last year’s disappearance of 43 students in the state of Guerrero.

An international panel of experts had said the investigation was flawed.

The students’ families have disputed the government’s account of what happened in September 2014.

The Mexican government says that police in the town of Iguala handed the students over to a drugs cartel who killed them and incinerated the bodies.Missing Mexican students investigation

The panel of experts, working for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, criticized the government’s version of events.

It concluded that the government’s account that the students were burnt beyond identification at a rubbish dump was physically impossible.

The panel said official reports appeared to downplay the presence of federal police and troops near the areas where the students were seized.

The experts said the army had refused to allow them to interview soldiers.

They came up with a list of 10 recommendations which the Mexican government has agreed to abide by.

Among them, the search for the students will be re-launched following outlines laid down by the experts and carried out in coordination with the victims’ families.

The experts also want the report they published to form part of the government investigation – following up recommendations and evaluating issues that arose from the report.


Guerrero gang leader Gildardo Lopez Astudillo, a key figure in the disappearance of 43 Mexican students last year in the town of Iguala, has been arrested.

The Mexican government says Gildardo Lopez Astudillo, known as “El Gil” is a leader of the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel.

It alleges Gildardo Lopez Astudillo, 36, gave the orders to abduct and kill the students.

There have so far been 111 arrests over the 2014 disappearances.Gildardo Lopez Astudillo Arrested in Mexico

The Mexican attorney-general’s office says its investigations show the Guerreros Unidos gang were handed the students by corrupt police in Iguala.

The office has said because Guerreros Unidos thought the students were members of a rival gang, they murdered them and then disposed of the bodies by burning them at a rubbish dump outside the city.

Official accounts contrast with a report issued by an international group of experts appointed by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IAHRC).

Their report earlier this month alleges that the Mexican authority’s investigations were deeply flawed, and included the disappearance of key evidence.

According to the experts, who visited the site where the Mexican authorities say the bodies were burnt, a fire fierce enough to incinerate the 43 students would have lasted over 60 hours and would have required tons of wood or rubber which would have burnt down the surrounding vegetation.

No fire was reported in the area at the time of the disappearance.

Earlier this week Austrian forensic experts announced they had identified the remains of a second victim found at the rubbish dump where the students’ bodies were allegedly burnt.

The relatives of the 43 students have demanded that the government investigates the possible involvement of high-ranking members of the military in the disappearances.

The apparent massacre of poor, rural students has posed problems for President Enrique Pena Nieto who took office in 2012 promising to stamp out drug-related violence.

Enrique Pena Nieto has been criticized for his handling of the case and accused of trying to wrap it up without a comprehensive investigation.

Correspondents say by charging “El Gil” with the disappearance of the students, the President would enable a swift end to the investigation.

International experts have disputed the government’s accounts of what happened and have said its investigation was deeply flawed.

The body of Mexican politician Aide Nava has been found in one of Mexico’s most violent states, Guerrero, where she had been standing for mayor in June’s elections.

Aide Nava’s body was discovered on a road near the state capital, Chilpancingo. She had been kidnapped on March 10.

A note near her body threatened the same treatment for other politicians.

Violence in Guerrero has cast doubt over polls scheduled there for June.

The note near Aide Nava’s body said if politicians did not “fall into line” they would be executed.Aide Nava killed in Guerrero

It was signed by Los Rojos, one of the main criminal groups in the state.

Last year Aide Nava’s son was kidnapped and has never been found. Her husband, a former mayor, was also murdered.

Guerrero and eight other Mexican states hold local elections in June, but there are doubts elections can take place in Guerrero because of the high levels of violence.

Last year, 43 students in Guerrero disappeared, and remain missing.

According to the Mexican government the students were abducted by corrupt local police and handed over to a criminal gang for execution.

The disappearances sparked an international outcry over criminal violence in Mexico.

President Enrique Pena Nieto promised to restore order to Mexico when he took office in 2012.

Further ten municipal police officers have been arrested by Mexican authorities investigating the disappearance of 43 student teachers in Guerrero state.

Around 90 people in total, including 58 police officer, have been detained so far.

The students disappeared in September 2014 after clashes with police in the city of Iguala.

National prosecutors say police handed them to criminal gangs who murdered them and burnt their bodies.

Parents of the students dispute this, arguing the authorities are hiding what happened to them.

Photo EPA

Photo EPA

The remains of only one student, Alexander Mora, have been identified so far.

They were found near a rubbish dump where criminal gang members say the students were taken to be shot and their bodies burnt.

Members of the gang said they killed the 43 and burned their bodies after they were told the students belonged to a rival gang.

The relatives of the other 42 missing students say they will not give up hope of finding them alive until forensic evidence proves they are dead.

The slow pace of the initial investigation into their disappearance and the collusion it has highlighted between local authorities and drug gangs has led to mass protests across Mexico.

Father Gregorio Lopez, who was kidnapped in Mexico’s south-western state of Guerrero on December 22, has been found shot dead, officials say.

The priest’s body was discovered near the city of Ciudad Altamirano.

A group of priests later rallied in the city to condemn the murder.

Father Gregorio Lopez was seized by gunmen from Ciudad Altamirano’s seminary, where he taught. The reason for the killing remains unclear.Father Gregorio Lopez Mexico

A friend of the priest told local media that Gregorio Lopez was kidnapped after he accused drug gang Guerreros Unidos of the abduction and alleged murder of 43 students in September.

He is the third priest to be killed this year in Guerrero state, which has been at the centre of drug-related violence in Mexico.

Last month, forensic experts identified the body of a Ugandan Catholic priest among the remains found in a mass grave. Father John Ssenyondo had been missing since being kidnapped in April.

The grave was located by federal police looking for the missing students.

On December 26, demonstrators in several Mexican cities commemorated the disappearance of the students on September 26 – exactly three months ago.

Police in the town of Iguala allegedly detained them following a clash that left six people dead.

Authorities say the police turned the students over to members of a drug gang who killed them and burned their bodies.

So far, the authorities have only identified the remains of one of the students.

Mexico’s governing PRI party’s offices in south-western Guerrero state have been set on fire by protesters to vent their anger at the official handling of the case of 43 missing students.

Their disappearance more than six weeks ago from the town of Iguala has sparked a series of sometimes violent protests.

Officials say local gang members have confessed to killing the students and burning their bodies.

However, remains found nearby have not yet been matched to the missing.

About 1,000 people marched in the Guerrero state capital, Chilpancingo, before unrest broke out.

A group of protesters fought running battles with police, throwing stones and petrol bombs.

The disappearance of 43 students six weeks ago from the town of Iguala has sparked a series of violent protests

The disappearance of 43 students six weeks ago from the town of Iguala has sparked a series of violent protests

Officials said three police officers and two journalists were injured in the clashes.

The disappearance of the 43 trainee teachers and the links it has revealed between the local authorities and a gang calling itself Guerreros Unidos (United Warriors) have triggered mass protests.

Investigators said that municipal police officers confessed to seizing the students, who had been protesting in Iguala on September 26, and later handing them over to the gang.

Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca is under arrest on suspicion of ordering police to intercept the students. Iguala’s police chief is still on the run.

Residents say they suspect links between the gang and officials reach higher levels than that of the local town council.

Relatives of the missing are also angry about the way the search for the students has been conducted.

The search uncovered a series of mass graves in the hills surrounding Iguala.

Tests carried out by the Guerrero state authorities suggested the bodies they contained were not those of the students.

Mexico’s Attorney-General Jesus Murillo Karam later said the initial tests may have been flawed.

A group of international forensic scientists acting for the families has also been examining the remains. On November 11 they released their first statement.

They said that they had so far been able to determine that 24 of the 30 bodies found in the six mass graves in Pueblo Viejo near Iguala were not those of the students.

It is not clear who they may belong to or how long ago they may have been buried there.

Test on the remaining six bodies found in Pueblo Viejo continue and results on those are expected soon, they said.

The team, made up of scientists from Argentina, Colombia, France, Mexico, Uruguay and the US, said it was also testing nine bodies found in burial pits in La Parota, also near Iguala.

Furthermore, charred remains found at a landfill site near the town of Cocula will be sent to a specialized laboratory in Austria for testing.

The landfill site is where, according to testimony by gang members given to prosecutors, the Guerreros Unidos killed and burned the students.

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A 6.4-magnitude earthquake has hit Mexico, causing buildings to sway in the capital, Mexico City.

According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake was centered near the town of Tecpan de Galeana in southern Guerrero state, about 190 miles south-west of Mexico City.

A 6.4-magnitude earthquake has hit Mexico, causing buildings to sway in the capital

A 6.4-magnitude earthquake has hit Mexico, causing buildings to sway in the capital

The earthquake was also felt in the resort city of Acapulco, the Associated Press says.

There are no reports of any damage or injuries but frightened office workers ran into the streets in the capital.

Mexico lies on top of three continental plates and is regularly shaken by tremors.

Finance Minister Luis Videgaray was mid-speech at the National Palace in Mexico City when the latest quake struck, Reuters reports.

“I think we’d better take a pause if you don’t mind,” the news agency quoted him as saying.

The quake had a depth of 15 miles.

The US Geological Survey downgraded the magnitude from an earlier figure of 6.8.

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A 7.2-magnitude earthquake has hit Mexico City, shaking buildings for at least 30 seconds and causing widespread panic.

The quake was registered at a depth of 15 miles, according to the US Geological Survey.

Its epicenter was in the western state of Guerrero, near the seaside resort of Acapulco.

A 7.2-magnitude earthquake has hit Mexico City, shaking buildings for at least 30 seconds and causing widespread panic

A 7.2-magnitude earthquake has hit Mexico City, shaking buildings for at least 30 seconds and causing widespread panic (photo AP)

There are no reports of casualties or significant damage, but frightened residents across the Mexican capital fled their homes as the tremor began.

The earthquake was felt in several southern and western Mexican states at 09:27 local time.

Windows were broken and trees fell in Chilpancingo, capital of Guerrero.

In Acapulco, where many tourists were enjoying the Easter holiday, there were scenes of panic.

Mexico lies on top of three continental plates and is regularly shaken by tremors.

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A 6.5 magnitude earthquake shook Mexico on Saturday killing at least two people and knocking out power in the capital.

The quake, which struck the western state of Guerrero at 19:47 local time, was strongly felt in Mexico City.

At least two people have died in the state, but reports suggest the country has escaped major damage.

An 18-year-old man was killed when a roof collapsed in Iguala, a small city between the capital and the tourist resort of Acapulco.

A second man, aged 25 was killed when a rock fell on a small van on the Mexico City-Acapulco highway, according to Reuters news agency.

The epicenter of the quake was 28 miles from Iguala in Guerrero and the tremor was 40 miles (65km) deep, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The quake, originally reported as 6.7 on the magnitude scale, was also felt in other states including Michoacan, Puebla and Hidalgo, local media reported.

“I was dreadfully afraid, I thought it was never going to end,” Laura Gonzalez, who was in a bar in the capital at the time of the quake which lasted 40 seconds, told Reuters.

A severe earthquake in 1985 killed thousands of people and wrecked parts of Mexico City, and many residents live with the fear of a repeat.

Shoppers at a popular department store in Condesa rushed out to the street, some of them crying and shouting, and traffic lights were out at several intersections, causing traffic jams.

“The most damage was in Iguala because the epicenter was very close to there,” a spokesman for Guerrero emergency services told Reuters.

Landslides had closed highways in the Pacific coast state but the duty fire officer in Acapulco said that while residents of the port city felt the earthquake and telephone services were down, there were no reports of major damage.

Power was knocked out in many districts of the capital and one building was evacuated, but Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said water services,

the subway and the airport were working normally.

“The city center is fine, there are people skating on the ice rink,” Mexico City emergency services spokesman Manuel Mondragon said of the winter entertainment facility set up in the central Zocalo square.

“At the moment, there is no reason for concern,” he told Reuters.

A source from phone operator Telcel said services went out briefly in some sections of the city as the mobile network was overloaded with people trying to call family and friends.

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