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Mass Grave Found After Iguala Protests

Following protests in the Mexican town of Iguala, 43 students went missing.

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Updated 8:54 p.m. ET —

Twenty-eight bodies have been found in mass graves in Mexico following a student protest. The deaths may be the work of hitmen, the AFP reported.

#BREAKING: Hitmen admit killing 17 of 43 missing Mexican students, says prosecutor

Agence France-Presse@AFPFollow

#BREAKING: Hitmen admit killing 17 of 43 missing Mexican students, says prosecutor

5:27 PM - 05 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The bodies found in a mass grave outside Iguala are so badly burned that it will take time to identify them, a lawyer for families of a number of missing students told the Associated Press.

Mexico's National Human Rights Commission announced Sunday that they were investigating grave human rights violations, including "extrajudicial executions and forced disappearances." The group called upon local authorities to take necessary safeguards to protect victims and their families as well as witnesses, upon whom the justice system depended.

The commission last year reported on "sensitive and delicate" conditions in the region due to crime, violence and a lack of strategies to protect residents.

A mass grave has been found on the outskirts of Iguala, BBC News reports.

A total of six burial pits have been discovered, according to Juan Lopez Villanueva, an official with the Mexican government’s National Human Rights Commission.
Jorge Dan Lopez / Reuters

A total of six burial pits have been discovered, according to Juan Lopez Villanueva, an official with the Mexican government’s National Human Rights Commission.

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Reuters reports the state attorney general's office said the grave had been found on Saturday.

The grave was found on a hillside in Iguala's Pueblo Viejo district. AP reports: "It was heavily guarded by soldiers, marines and federal and state police who kept journalists away from the site. A helicopter landed inside the cordoned-off area in mid-afternoon."
Jorge Dan Lopez / Reuters

The grave was found on a hillside in Iguala's Pueblo Viejo district. AP reports: "It was heavily guarded by soldiers, marines and federal and state police who kept journalists away from the site. A helicopter landed inside the cordoned-off area in mid-afternoon."

According to the Guardian, Guerrero state prosecutor Inaky Blanco has not given indication how many bodies there are, or if they are those of protesting students who were last seen forced into police vans.

It appears up to 20 bodies were found, and that they were burned. The graves were found due to an anonymous tip off, according to ABC.
Jorge Dan Lopez / Reuters

It appears up to 20 bodies were found, and that they were burned. The graves were found due to an anonymous tip off, according to ABC.

The BBC reports: "The group had travelled to the area, in the state of Guerrero, to take part in a protest over teachers' rights."

They were all trainee teachers. Vidulfo Rosales, a human rights lawyer representing the missing people's relatives, told ABC: "We are very worried. The families are very anxious."
Jorge Dan Lopez / Reuters

They were all trainee teachers. Vidulfo Rosales, a human rights lawyer representing the missing people's relatives, told ABC: "We are very worried. The families are very anxious."

Six people were killed after police opened fire – 22 officers are currently being held in connection with the shooting.

It could be the case that criminal gangs are linked to local officials and police officers, state prosecutors told the BBC. The broadcaster reports: "Arrest warrants have been issued for the mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Albarca and his security chief who are both considered fugitives from justice and may be involved in the violence."
Jorge Dan Lopez / Reuters

It could be the case that criminal gangs are linked to local officials and police officers, state prosecutors told the BBC. The broadcaster reports: "Arrest warrants have been issued for the mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Albarca and his security chief who are both considered fugitives from justice and may be involved in the violence."

Reuters reports that Guerrero State Governor Angel Aguirre had offered a reward of one million Mexican pesos, ($74,000) for information leading to their whereabouts.

Jorge Dan Lopez / Reuters