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Mexico

Austrian Lab Finds No Evidence of Ayotzinapa Missing Students

The case of the missing students has attracted national and international condemnation

Activists hold signs to demand justice for the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa Teacher Training College, photo: Reuters/Edgard Garrido
2 years ago

An Austrian laboratory has not found evidence that can confirm that remains found in a trash dump in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero belong to 43 students who disappeared in September 2014, authorities announced.

The Attorney General’s Office said in a statement late Friday night that the Institute of Legal Medicine at the University of Innsbruck examined samples including hair and physical remains.

The office said it was not possible to establish genetic profiles through DNA testing so far, though further testing is still being done with those results to be released in the future.

Activists hold signs to demand justice for the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa Teacher Training College in Guerrero state on September 26, 2014, outside the office of Mexico's Attorney General in Mexico City, April 4, 2016. The signs read, "Alive they were taken. Alive we want them".  REUTERS/Edgard Garrido      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Activists hold signs to demand justice for the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa Teacher Training College in Guerrero state on September 26, 2014, outside the office of Mexico’s Attorney General in Mexico City, April 4, 2016. The signs read, “Alive they were taken. Alive we want them”. Photo: Reuters/Edgard Garrido

Mexican investigators have theorized that police handed the students over to drug gang members who killed them and incinerated the bodies at the garbage dump.

That finding has been disputed by two outside groups of experts who examined the case and concluded there was no evidence at the dump of a fire large enough to consume all the bodies. Relatives of the students have also publicly doubted the government investigation.

The Attorney General’s Office said the Austrian lab determined that some of the hair samples were human, while others were of animal origin.

FILE - In this Dec. 26, 2015 file photo, relatives of the 43 missing students from the rural teachers college march holding pictures of their missing loved ones during a protest in Mexico City. Argentine forensic experts who have studied a dump in southern Mexico where government officials claim the bodies of 43 missing teachers’ college students were burned say a new investigation of the site is incomplete and inconclusive. The Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team was called in shortly after the students from the Rural Normal School at Ayotzinapa disappeared in Iguala in Guerrero state on Sept. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)

Relatives of the 43 missing students from the rural teachers college march holding pictures of their missing loved ones during a protest in Mexico City. Argentine forensic experts who have studied a dump in southern Mexico where government officials claim the bodies of 43 missing teachers’ college students were burned say a new investigation of the site is incomplete and inconclusive. The Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team was called in shortly after the students from the Rural Normal School at Ayotzinapa disappeared in Iguala in Guerrero state on Sept. 26, 2014. Photo: AP/Marco Ugarte

Those found to be human did not yield a match with DNA sequences of family members of the students.

The case of the missing students has attracted national and international condemnation, and the government’s perceived mishandling of it has dogged the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto.

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