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Protesters take over airport in Mexican city

IANS 11 Nov 2014, 9:04:27 AM IST
IANS

Mexico City: Hundreds of students, teachers and relatives of the 43 education students who disappeared in September in the city of Iguala took over the airport on Monday in Acapulco city of Mexico without being stopped by authorities.

The demonstrators plan to keep the airport closed for at least "three hours" during which time "no one is going to enter or leave" the facility to protest the incidents in Iguala, Felipe de la Cruz, a spokesman for the relatives of the missing Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School students, said.

The protesters, majority of them with their faces covered, entered the airport terminal and wrote "We Are All Ayotzinapa" and "Peña Nieto, murderer" on the walls, a reference to President Enrique Peña Nieto, who is attending a trade summit in China.

"The flights are going to arrive, but they are not going to leave," De la Cruz said, adding that the demonstrators, some of whom were armed with clubs and shields, would "remain orderly."

De la Cruz said he spoke with the airport manager and informed him that a protest would be staged at the facility to draw attention to the disappearance Sep 26 of the 43 education students.

The 43 students, the majority of them ages 18 to 21, were detained by police and handed over to the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel, which killed them and burned the bodies to eliminate all traces of the victims, officials said, citing statements by suspects in the case.

Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said Friday, citing statements from three suspects in custody, that the 43 teacher trainees were dead.

Patricio Reyes, Jhonatan Osorio and Agustin Garcia confessed to having killed the students and burned their bodies, the attorney general told a press conference.

Reyes, Osorio and Garcia told investigators they took the 43 students to the Cocula dump and set them on fire, Murillo said.

After watching the bonfire burn for more than 14 hours, the killers collected the ashes and bones in eight garbage bags and then tossed the bags into a nearby river, the attorney general said.

Authorities managed to recover one of the bags intact and the contents will be analysed to confirm the suspects' account, Murillo said.

For the purposes of the investigation, the students will continue to be classified as missing until the remains are definitively identified by specialists at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, Murillo said.