Mexico City: Eight years after 43 students went missing in Mexico’s Guerrero state, the government has declared all of them dead.
All indications point to this “sad reality”, dpa news agency quoted Alejandro Encinas, secretary of state for Human Rights in the Ministry of Interior, as saying in a press conference here on Thursday.
This was communicated to the relatives of the students at a “hard and painful meeting”, which President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador also attended, Encinas told reporters.
Up until now, the Mexican government had been saying it would continue to search for the missing students on the assumption they were still alive.
The only findings so far have been bone fragments from three of them.
On September 26, 2014, 43 young men studying at a rural teacher training college in Ayotzinapa went missing in the city of Iguala while travelling on buses they had stolen.
They were pursued by corrupt police officers and allegedly handed over to the crime syndicate Guerreros Unidos for reasons that are not known.
An earlier investigation said their bodies had been burned at a rubbish dump, but that version of events was later discredited.
Encinas said the version of events the government had described at the time was wrong and called the students’ disappearance a state crime with various levels of state institutions involved.