August 30, 2018 / 6:15 AM / 23 days ago

Mexico's next government to consider new probe into disappearance of 43 students

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s next government will discuss a potential new investigation of the 2014 disappearance of 43 students with human rights experts who dispute the findings of the current administration, three people familiar with the matter said.

Relatives of the 43 students of Ayotzinapa hold a news conference after the U.N. human rights office said in a report on Thursday that Mexican authorities had tortured dozens of people in connection with an investigation into the 2014 disappearance of 43 students, in Mexico City, Mexico March 16, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso/Files

The abduction and suspected massacre of the trainee teachers in the southwestern state of Guerrero precipitated one of the worst crises of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government.

The administration concluded the bodies of the missing were incinerated in a garbage dump, but experts appointed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) said that account was riddled with errors.

The same experts will meet next month with President-Elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s team to discuss a possible resumption of work on the case, said two people familiar with the investigation.

They said they were not authorized to speak publicly because the IACHR has yet to make a formal declaration whether it would extend the mandate of the investigators, known as the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts.

A member of Lopez Obrador’s team confirmed plans for the meeting without providing details, and also requesting anonymity ahead of an announcement from the IACHR.

The leftist leader, who will take office on December 1, said he would set up a truth commission to analyze the case, but has not provided details of how it would operate.

On Wednesday, Pena Nieto reiterated his government’s findings about the young people, who attended a college in the town of Ayotzinapa.

“There was clear and conclusive evidence that very sadly the 43 young people had been incinerated by a criminal group,” he said.

That conclusion was widely questioned by domestic and international human rights experts.

The IACHR’s Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts said the investigation was flawed, including the torture of witnesses who had allegedly participated in the disappearance of the students.

Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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