MEXICO CITY- Gang suspects have confessed to killing 43 missing Mexican students, burning their bodies for 14 hours and tossing their charcoal-like remains in a river, authorities said, in a case causing national revulsion.
Facing angry protests in the biggest crisis of his administration, President Enrique Pena Nieto vowed to hunt down all those responsible for the “horrible crime.”
Authorities have been searching for the aspiring teachers since gang-linked police attacked their buses in the southern city of Iguala on September 26, allegedly under orders of the mayor and his wife in a night of terror that left six people dead.
If the confessions are proven true, the mass murder would rank among the worst massacres in a drug war that has killed more than 80,000 people and left 22,000 others missing since 2006.
“To the parents of the missing young men and society as a whole, I assure you that we won’t stop until justice is served,” said Pena Nieto, who has shortened a trip to China and Australia starting Sunday over a case that has undermined his assurances that national violence was down.
Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam stopped short of declaring the 43 dead and said an Austrian university would help identify the remains.
He said authorities will continue to consider the students as missing until DNA tests confirm the identities.
But the chief prosecutor added that there was “a lot of evidence… that could indicate it was them.”