The working group investigating the disappearance of 43 students in Iguala, Mexico, released its report today, the LA Times tells us.

The Mexican government’s claim that 43 missing students were killed and burned in a local trash dump in the state of Guerrero nearly a year ago has been discredited by a six-month investigation from an international working group.

The inquiry, published Sunday, also found that the police who allegedly attacked and abducted the students last Sept. 26 could have been acting directly under the orders of drug traffickers to reclaim a cargo of illegal heroin stashed in at least one of the buses in which the students were traveling at the time the attacks occurred.

The report, carried out by an interdisciplinary working group created by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, says there is no physical evidence that a fire sufficient to reduce 43 bodies “to ashes” took place on the night of the disappearance. Officials have claimed the bodies were incinerated in a trash dump in the small town of Cocula, which is about a 15-minute drive from Iguala.

The report describes a direct connection between Iguala and the supply of illegal heroin to Chicago. It cites evidence presented in a recent case in Illinois that shows the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel used public transport buses in Mexico to move heroin north from Iguala. The mountains around Iguala are dotted with clandestine poppy fields as well as illicit graves, and Guerrero state is one of the biggest producers of illegal heroin for sale in the United States.

Well that makes me feel proud to be an American.

The inquiry also raises the possibility that the government investigation into what has become known as the “Ayotzinapa” case could have omitted important facts. Five buses were commandeered that night by the students — a practice common among youth groups lacking resources as a way to get to events — yet only four are mentioned in the government investigation, according to the working group.

The investigation also concluded that the Mexican military was present during the incidents of that night — something the government has always denied.

The students who disappeared all studied at a rural teachers college in the small town of Ayotzinapa, about an hour’s drive from Iguala. Some of them and other civilian bystanders were killed when the police opened fire indiscriminately at various locations across the city. Then 43 students were allegedly dragged away and stuffed into police pickups; they haven’t been seen since.

Sounds legit.

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