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Parents of missing Mexican film students break silence, seek president’s help

Guadalajara, Mexico, Mar 20 (EFE).- The family members of three Mexican film students who are believed to have been kidnapped, killed and dissolved in acid in March 2018 have broken their silence and called on President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to monitor the investigation.

“We’re asking him to be attentive to this case, as he’s doing with other young people who went missing,” Sofia Avalos said in a press conference Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of her son and two other young people.

Marco Garcia, Javier Salomon and Daniel Diaz, who studied at the University of Audiovisual Media (CAAV) in Guadalajara, the capital of the western state of Jalisco, were kidnapped, murdered and dissolved in acid by members of the Jalisco Nueva Generacion Cartel on March 19, 2018, that state’s Attorney General’s Office confirmed about a month later.

Their investigation, which has since been taken over by the federal AG’s office, found that the three young people were mistaken for members of a rival drug gang, the Nueva Plaza Cartel.

Hundreds of people participate in a demonstration to commemorate one year after the disappearance of young film students in Guadalajara, Mexico, 19 March 2019. The relatives of the three young film students allegedly kidnapped, murdered and dissolved in acid in March 2018 broke their silence by asking the president of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, to follow up on the case. EFE/ Francisco Guasco

After being abducted, the three were taken to a rural property in Tonala, Jalisco, where Salomon was tortured to death and his fellow students were killed.

The Jalisco AG’s office said the killers then took their victims’ bodies to another property, when they dissolved them by placing them in large containers filled with sulfuric acid.

At both properties, the state investigators found blood stains and biological samples that correspond with the DNA of Garcia and Diaz, although no remains have been discovered that match Salomon’s DNA.

At the press conference, Avalos said she and the other parents of the missing children still are holding out hope of finding the students alive and called on federal Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero to focus on locating them.

Her petition, she said, is based on a “basic human right of ours and our children’s … to have real and effective access to justice and the truth about their whereabouts.”

Avalos also called on the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances to help expedite the investigation.
Rallies were held in Guadalajara on the one-year anniversary of the students’ disappearance to demand that progress be made in the investigation and that those responsible be brought to justice.

On Tuesday morning, CAAV students held a demonstration and set up a “garden of memory” in honor of their classmates at the “Roundabout for the Missing” in Guadalajara’s popular Zona Rosa district.

Hours later, hundreds of students joined groups of relatives of missing persons in a march to demand that the state government locate all of these individuals.

“We’re telling the government that not just three but all of us (are affected),” said Guadalupe Aguilar, a member of the Families United for Our Missing in Jalisco organization.

She said she believed that disappearances, drug trafficking and people trafficking in Mexico “would not be possible without the collusion of authorities at the three levels of government,” adding that citizens and victims do not trust “those supposedly tasked with protecting us.”

Jalisco Attorney General Gerardo Octavio Solis told reporters on Monday that it was possible that the six suspects arrested in the case of the missing film students could be freed due to irregularities in the investigation.

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