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Thousands in Mexico demand justice over missing students

Thousands in Mexico demand justice over missing students
Thousands of protesters march in Mexico City on Oct. 8 to demand justice in the case of 43 students who went missing in Iguala, in Guerrero state. (Omar Torres / AFP/Getty Images)

Thousands of people marched in various parts of Mexico on Wednesday
to demand justice in the disappearance and possible massacre of 43 college students at the hands of police.

Students and their supporters traveled from all over Guerrero state to the city of Iguala, where mass graves have yielded 28 bodies that may be those of missing students, who vanished Sept. 26 after clashing with police.

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And here in the capital, Mexico City, several thousand people gathered at the iconic Angel of Independence statue and marched along Reforma Boulevard to the main plaza, or Zocalo.

"I am here because I am outraged and it hurts me, what is happening in my country," said Alejandra Orozco, 22, a sociology student. "We cannot act as if these massacres are normal in this country."

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Another student said she thought the governor of Guerrero, who has been accused of allowing rampant corruption in the state's local governments, should resign.

"We demand the resignation of the governor, and if the students don't reappear, [President Enrique] Pena Nieto ought to resign too," said Maria Flores Solis, 23.  "What happened to the students is unpardonable and speaks to a Mexico without law."

The federal government has promised a thorough investigation and to prosecute those responsible, "whoever they are," as Atty. Gen. Jesus Murillo Karam put it. But many Mexicans are skeptical.

"We must unite and demand the government clarify these crimes and prevent them from happening again," said another protester, 56-year-old office worker Diego Rodriguez. "Mexico is becoming a mass grave.... Mexico is in mourning."

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It remains unclear why the students were kidnapped and possibly killed. Their leftist movement has long clashed with local police and governments, while the penetration of those governments by drug-trafficking criminal organizations has become increasingly evident.

Sanchez is a special correspondent

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