On Thursday, Mexican officials reported finding more mass graves in the southwestern state of Guerrero, following Saturday’s discovery of 28 charred bodies in the same area. The bodies have not been identified, but the graves appear to be linked to the disappearance two weeks ago of 43 student protesters after an altercation with police officers in the province’s city of Iguala—a clash that reportedly left six dead and 25 injured. The brutality of the murders appears to point to gang violence, which raises the question: Why would a drug gang target students?
As protesters marched to demand justice for the students and parents of the missing held candlelight vigils for their vanished children, Mexican authorities directed blame at Iguala’s government and police force. Mexico’s attorney general, Jesús Murillo Karam, told reporters in Mexico that Iguala’s police “are a disgrace to their uniforms. They are killers working in a drug cartel.” Guerrero Attorney General Iñaky Blanco has accused the city’s police of sending 17 protesters to their deaths at the hands of the criminal organization Guerreros Unidos. State prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for the town’s mayor and security chief in connection with the case, and at least 22 Iguala police officers are in custody.