Mexico exhumes body of student killed when 43 disappeared

2015-11-05 07:54


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San Miguel Tecomatlan - Mexican and Argentine experts on Wednesday exhumed the body of a student who was found dead with his face skinned off hours after 43 of his colleagues disappeared at the hands of police and a drug gang.

Julio Cesar Mondragon's remains were taken to Mexico City, where they are to undergo new testing. An independent panel formed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights determined that a first autopsy was marred by inconsistencies and contradictions. Mondragon's family demanded new tests.

Mondragon was one of six people killed in September 2014 in Iguala, a city in the southern state of Guerrero, when students from the Raul Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College of Ayotzinapa were attacked while commandeering buses for a protest. The cases of the three students and three bystanders slain have been mostly forgotten in the furor over the 43 missing students, whose fate is still unknown more than a year later.

The same group of experts previously dismantled the government's official version that the 43 students were killed and incinerated in a giant pyre at a trash dump, saying the fire described in the attorney general's investigation could not have occurred.

Mondragon, 22, was married with a 2-month-old child when he was killed.

Terror tactic

His original autopsy, conducted by the state prosecutor, said the skin on his face could have been peeled off by a knife, a terror tactic known to be used by drug cartels on their victims. But the same report also said an animal might have been responsible for the disfiguring, a possibility that his family called a "mockery".

The independent experts for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights concluded Mondragon's body showed "visible signs of torture," but the state investigation made no mention of that.

Mondragon's family has accused local, state and federal authorities of hindering the investigation and asked for experts from the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team to be present at the body's exhumation. The Argentines have also analysed evidence in the case of the missing 43 students.

Cuitlahuac Mondragon, the slain man's uncle, said the decision to exhume the corpse was difficult because it caused the family to relive the nightmare, but said it was necessary.

"All we ask for is the truth," he said.

Read more on:    mexico

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