Tag Archive | "mexico"

Mexico: Two Mummified Bodies Discovered Near Volcano Summit


The mummified bodies found on Mexico's highest peak (Photo: Hilario Aguilar Aguilar, via Ayuntamiento Chalchicomula de Sesma)

The mummified bodies found on Mexico’s highest peak (Photo: Hilario Aguilar Aguilar, via Ayuntamiento Chalchicomula de Sesma)

Authorities have confirmed the discovery of two mummified bodies buried in snow near the summit of the Pico de Orizaba volcano, Mexico highest peak.

The first of the frozen bodies was spotted last weekend at an altitude of nearly 5,300m by a climber who had slipped. A special expedition on Thursday confirmed the discovery, and after some digging found a second body in the same spot.

“It’s not one but two bodies,” Hilario Aguilar Aguilar, president of the local Alpine Club, told press after returning from the expedition. “We excavated, which released some gases, and then noticed another hand. After some more digging we realised that there were two people.”

The bodies are thought to belong to climbers who went missing after an avalanche more than 50 years ago.

Authorities are hoping to retrieve the remains early next week to begin running tests to determine the identity of the victims.

Pico de Orizaba, also known as Citlaltépetl, is Mexico’s highest volcano, reaching 5,636m above sea level at the summit.

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Mexico: Argentine Experts, PGR Clash Over Missing Students Investigation


Federal prosecutor Jesús Murillo Karam gave details about the case to press on Friday (Photo Omar Torres/AFP/Télam)

Federal prosecutor Jesús Murillo Karam gave details about the case to press in January (Photo Omar Torres/AFP/Télam)

The Office of Mexico’s Prosecutor General (PGR) has criticised a team of Argentine forensic experts for “casting doubt” over its investigation into the disappearance of 43 students in September.

On 27th January, Prosecutor General Jesús Murillo Karam announced that the students had been “kidnapped, murdered, incinerated, and thrown into a river” near a rubbish dump outside the town of Cocula, in the state of Guerrero. Murillo Karam claimed that confessions from the alleged perpetrators and evidence gathered at the scene made this “the true story of the facts, which should be valid in all legal jurisdictions.”

However, The Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF) which has been conducting a parallel investigation into the case at the request of the missing students’ families and lawyers released a statement this weekend highlighting “problems” in the official PGR conclusions.

According to the EAAF, irregularities include the potential contamination of evidence from the rubbish tip outside Cocula, as well as photographic evidence that contradicts the official PGR claim that there had only ever been one fire at the site, the night the students disappeared.

The EAAF also noted numerous discrepancies in the genetic profiles taken from relatives of the students by both the EAAF and PGR and sent to a laboratory in Austria to cross-check with bone samples found at the alleged crime scene. And it added that they had found proof of human remains not belonging to the missing students at the site.

In its conclusions, the EAAF said that while the students may have suffered the fate as described by the PGR, the forensic evidence it has gathered so far did not provide scientific proof of this.

In response, the PGR released a statement yesterday criticising the EAAF for speculating on issues beyond its area of expertise. “It is unacceptable that, in the face of a mountain of evidence, forensics, confessions, testimonies, and inspections, they cast doubts that in this place around 40 people were executed and incinerated, something that has been corroborated by the material and scientific examinations carried out there by the Prosecutor General’s Office.”

However, relatives of the students said yesterday that the report by the EAAF confirmed their suspicions about the official version of events. “The report by our Argentine partners makes it clear to us that government’s ‘true story’ falls apart,” said Felipe de la Cruz, father of one of the missing students. “We are certain that we were right from the start not to trust the government’s version.”

So far, only one of the 43 students that went missing on 26th September has been identified, 19-year-old Alexander Mora.

Dozens of suspects have been arrested in relation to the crime, including members of the Guerreros Unidos criminal organisation, police officers from the towns of Iguala and Cocula,

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Mexico: Several Dead after Gas Explosion at Hospital


The explosion destroyed an entire side of the hospital (photo courtesy of Adrián Rubalcava twitter: @AdrianRubalcava)

The explosion destroyed an entire side of the hospital (photo courtesy of Adrián Rubalcava twitter: @AdrianRubalcava)

At least seven people have been killed and dozens more injured after a gas explosion at Cuajimalpa maternity hospital in Mexico City.

Four children were among the dead, said Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera.

Adrián Rubalcava, the city official for the western suburb, confirmed that among the injured are 22 infants and children and 32 adults, most of them wounded as a result of flying glass. He has not ruled out that the death toll could rise.

The injured have already been transferred to other hospitals in the city, and all other patients are being evacuated.

Early reports indicated that the explosion, which occurred at 7.30am local time, happened when a hose that was supplying gas to the hospital’s kitchen from a truck sprung a leak. The explosion has destroyed one side of the hospital building, and the pipe, which was carrying thousands of litres of gas, was still in flames hours after the initial explosion.

 

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Mexico: Families of 43 Students Contest Prosecutor’s Claim


Protesters march for the 43 missing students in Mexico City (photo: AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)

Protesters march for the 43 missing students in Mexico City (photo: AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)

Mexican authorities have affirmed that, officially, the 43 missing students from Ayotzinapa were murdered and incinerated in Cocula. However, the parents of the students rejected this conclusion, and vowed to continue searching for their children until they obtain scientific evidence of their death.

In a press conference yesterday, General Prosecutor Jesús Murillo Karam said that “it can be concluded that the students were detained, murdered, and incinerated in Cocula.” The arrest of Felipe Rodríguez Salgado (aka ‘El Cepillo’) on 15th January and his subsequent confession –consistent with that of the other suspects– was key for the authorities to reach this conclusion. According to the prosecutor, it was Rodríguez Salgado who led the operation, for which he could get a 140-year prison sentence.

Tomás Zerón, head of the Criminal Investigation Agency at the General Prosecutor’s Office, also explained that scientific evidence shows that there was a massive fire at the Cocula municipal rubbish dump, where the suspects confessed to having burnt the bodies of the victims.

“The finding of human bones in the rubbish dump and in the San Juan river confirms the versions and prove the presence of a large group of people who were killed in that place,” said Murillo Karam, who also stated there is no evidence linking the Mexican Army with the disappearance of the students.

The Prosecutor clarified that the case will not be closed until the remaining suspects are arrested.

The families of the students rejected the prosecutor’s statement and claimed “we will not let them close the investigation with just the declarations of the detainees.”

Vidulfo Rosales, the lawyer representing the families of the students, said: “We can’t let them close the case and tell us ‘there’s your dead’, but they won’t tell us where their bodies are, where there remains are.”

“Since it’s well known that Mexican prosecutors are specialists in fabricating crimes and since renowned scientists have expressed doubts about this hypothesis, the families will not accept these results until we get independent experts’ opinions,” said Rosales, who also considered that the prosecutor’s case is too heavily based on the suspects’ statements, which could have been obtained under duress.

Rosales accused the government of being in a hurry to close an investigation that is not conclusive, and which should also study accusations against the Army and against former Guerrero governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero and prosecutor Iñaki Blanco.

The 43 students from Ayotzinapa disappeared in the town of Iguala, Guerrero, on 26th September. The prosecutor accused former Iguala mayor José Luis Abarca Velázquez and his wife, Ángeles Pineda Villa, of masterminding their kidnapping and murder, with help from the local police (from Iguala and Cocula) and criminal organisation Guerreros Unidos.

Journalist Found Dead

In another case involving local authorities in Mexico, journalist Moisés Sánchez Cerezo was found dead on the weekend in the state of Veracruz. DNA and fingerprint tests confirmed the identity of the body.

The murder of the journalist was allegedly ordered by the mayor of the town of Medellín de Bravo, Omar Cruz Reyes, on 2nd January, according to the prosecutor in charge of the case.

A former police officer, Clemente Noé Rodríguez Martínez, was arrested in connection with the murder. He confessed to having killed the journalist, together with other people. The prosecutor, Luis Angel Bravo, said on a press conference: “Noé Rodríguez also pointed out that the death of Moisés Sánchez was carried out by a direct order of the Medellín mayor’s driver in exchange for police protection so that his gang could sell drugs in the town without any problems.”

Bravo will request that mayor Cruz Reyes be stripped of his immunity so that charges can be brought against him.

According to Animal Político, 11 journalists have been killed in the state of Veracruz since 2010, under the administration of PRI governor Javier Duarte.

 

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Mexico: Demonstrators Try to Enter Barracks


Protesters march for the 43 missing students in Mexico City (photo: AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)

Protesters march for the 43 missing students in Mexico City (photo: AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)

Dozens were injured when a group of protestors tried to enter an army barracks in the city of Iguala, Guerrero, yesterday.

According to witnesses, stones and molotov cocktails were thrown at military installations by the demonstrators, who included relatives of the 43 Mexican students who were disappeared in September. The army, equipped in anti-riot gear, quickly and violently suppressed the protests.

Relatives of the students want federal prosecutors to investigate possible ties between the armed forces and the disappearances, and wanted to gain access to the site, suspecting that some of the students – or their remains – may be inside.

The 43 students were disappeared in Iguala in September, and local police have since confessed to handing them over to the Guerreros Unidos cartel, who – according to the official hypothesis – killed the students and burnt their remains. The police were believed to have been working on behalf of then Iguala Mayor, José Luis Abarca, and his wife Ángeles Pineda. Abarca has since been arrested for his alleged role in the disappearances.

But only one of the students has been identified from the carbonised remains found near Iguala, and yesterday’s protest was the latest in a series of manifestations organised by the families of the students to demand truth and justice for the 43.

The protest in Iguala was mirrored by similar demonstrations against the armed forces in Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Mexico City.

 

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Mexico: Forensic Team Identifies Body of Ayotzinapa Student


Protesters march for the 43 missing students in Mexico City (photo: AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)

Protesters march for the 43 missing students in Mexico City (photo: AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)

The Argentine Forensic Anthropology (EAAF) team working on the case of the 43 missing students in Mexico has identified the remains of 21-year-old Alexander Mora.

On a press conference on Saturday, Mexico’s General Prosecutor Jesús Murillo Karam stated that the DNA tests carried out by the EAAF at a lab at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, confirmed that some of the bones found in a river last month were those of the student. The results were submitted to the prosecutor’s office on 4th December.

According to Murillo, “the positive DNA identification, together with the rest of the evidence and the declarations of the accused before the Federal Public Ministry, strengthens the historical reconstruction of what happened in Cocula” on the night of 26th September.

Murillo added that he will not “cease in his investigations” until all those responsible for the massacre have been found. Eighty people have already been arrested in connection with the case.

The families of the students carried out a massive protest on Saturday night in Mexico City, and stated they will continue to fight in order to find their loved ones.

“If those murderers think that with the fact that they matched one of our boys with the DNA, we’re going to stay here crying,” said Felipe de la Cruz, one of the parents, “we want to tell them that they’re wrong, that from today onwards this struggle will extend until we find the other 42 missing students, alive.”

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Mexico: Congress Approves Anti-Protest Measures


Protesters march for the 43 missing students in Mexico City (photo: AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)

Protests, such as this march for the 43 missing students in Mexico City, could be criminalised under the changes (photo: AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)

In the middle of nationwide protests surrounding the disappearance of 43 students in Guerrero state in September, Mexico’s congress has approved constitutional changes that allow authorities to stop demonstrations.

Governing party PRI was joined by PAN, PVEN, and Panal in approving the changes on Tuesday. The modifications had been first drafted in April, but critics say they have been rushed through congress to allow authorities to crack down on the protests that are currently gripping the nation.

The changes to articles 11 and 73 of the constitution guarantee the universal right to movement, and give municipal, state, and federal authorities the right to emit laws which will impede street protests, and stop demonstrators from cutting streets for marches.

Opponents to the measure have said that such laws would criminalise the protests that are currently taking place over the student disappearance.

The protestors are demanding the president Enrique Peña Nieto resign over his government’s handling of the student disappearances, and also for the more general security situation that the country is facing.

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The Indy’s Weekly Review – 28th November 2014


Coming up on this episode of The Indy’s Weekly Review:

We analyse the mining lobby in Argentina after Wednesday’s release of a polemic photo, we speak to Juan Pablo Hudson of the Club de Investigaciones Urbanas about drugs, violence and police corruption in the city of Rosario, and we look at the media uproar over the Uruguayan president calling Mexico a “failed state”.

All that, plus the main news headlines from Argentina and Latin America and a preview of the new album by this week’s featured artist, Los Animales Superforros.

(Click on ‘Descargar’ to download)

Presented by: Kristie Robinson & Celina Andreassi
Editing: Pablo Fisher

We will be looking to continually improve and add to this podcast, and we’d love to hear your feedback on it, as well as suggestions for any additional stories or content you’d like to hear in it in the future. Send us an email at info@argentinaindependent.com, or comment on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

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Mexico: Protests After Prosecutor Says Missing Students ‘Likely Dead’


Federal prosecutor Jesús Murillo Karam gave details about the case to press on Friday (Photo Omar Torres/AFP/Télam)

Federal prosecutor Jesús Murillo Karam gave details about the case to press on Friday (Photo Omar Torres/AFP/Télam)

Protests broke out across Mexico during the weekend, after the federal prosecutor said that the 43 missing students in Guerrero state had most likely been murdered by members of an organised crime gang.

Peaceful marches were staged in several cities over the weekend, as protesters blamed the government for its role in the case. Some turned violent as a minority group attacked government buildings and set cars alights in the state capital, Chilpancingo, while in Mexico City a group of protesters were detained after starting a fire at the entrance of the presidential palace.

The latest protest were fueled by declarations made by federal prosecutor Jesús Murillo Karam on Friday evening. In a televised press conference, Murillo said that several detainees had confessed to killing a “large number” of people and then burning their bodies before dumping the remains in a river.

Murillo played video testimonies given by the detainees – members of the Guerreros Unidos gang – providing graphic details about how they had taken the youngsters to a rubbish tip in the town of Cocula, where they killed them and then incinerated the bodies in a blaze that lasted for 14 hours.

The students had been previously attacked and kidnapped by police in the nearby city of Iguala, and were killed by the gang on police orders, according to Murillo.

The confession led to the discovery of several bags full of bone fragments and ashes, and Murillo said that there were “indications” that these belong to the students. The remains will be sent to Austria for a full DNA analysis to try and confirm if they match that of the students’ families.

Murillo said that the investigation would remain open, with the students classified as “disappeared” until there was confirmation of the identity of the human remains.

The press conference came after Murillo held a private meeting with the families of the missing students. A group of parents also spoke to the press, saying they would not give up hope of finding their children until there is irrefutable scientific proof.

“As parents we do not accept these declarations [by Murilla], because even he said they could not be certain,” said one of the parents, Felipe de la Cruz. “We demand that the search be intensified and that international organisations get involved, as the president promised us, to make the search more efficient, as we have found that our country has been overwhelmed by this.”

So far, 72 people have been arrested in connection with the case, including Igual Mayor José Luis Abarca and his wife, María de los Ángeles Pineda, who are accused of ordering the police attack on the students.

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Mexico: Iguala Mayor Arrested Over Students’ Disappearance


Protesters march for the 43 missing students in Mexico City (photo: AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)

Protesters march for the 43 missing students in Mexico City (photo: AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)

Iguala Mayor José Luis Abarca and his wife, María de los Ángeles Pineda, were arrested yesterday, accused of masterminding the kidnapping and murder of 43 students in the state of Guerrero.

Abarca and Pineda were hiding in a derelict room in the district of Iztapalapa, east of Mexico City. They were caught sleeping in the early hours of Tuesday, after a long surveillance operation by the country’s Federal Police.

General Prosecutor Jesús Murillo Karam, who is in charge of investigating the case, explained that there was a third person involved, Noemí Berumen Rodríguez, who has been charged with being part of a cover-up operation. Police followed Berumen Rodríguez as she entered the abandoned house were the fugitives were hiding.

Abarca and Pineda are being held by police, who are taking their statements. Authorities expect to obtain information that could lead them to finding the students’ bodies. DNA tests were carried out to confirm their identities.

The 43 students from Ayotzinapa were last seen in Iguala, where they were fundraising, on the night of 26th September. Prosecutor Murillo Karam’s hypothesis is that they were kidnapped by the local police and then handed in to criminal organisation Guerreros Unidos, who killed them, following orders by the mayor and his wife.

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24th March marks the anniversary of the 1976 coup that brought Argentina's last dictatorship to power, a bloody seven year period in which thousands of citizens were disappeared and killed. Many of the victims passed through ESMA, a clandestine detention centre turned human rights museum

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