The Mexican government officially pronounced the 43 students missing since September 2014 as dead, even as the parents of those who went missing reject the theory. Though the remains of only one who went missing have been identified so far, the police says they have reasons to believe they were murdered by drug traffickers who mistook them to be members of a rival gang.

The Attorney General Jesus Murillo told the reporters on Monday that the investigators were now certain that all the 43 men (all students) who had been abducted by corrupt police officers in southern Guerrero state were handed over by them to the Guerreros Unidos gang. The gang then took them all to a garbage dump, killed them, burned their bodies and then dumped their remains in a nearby river.

“The evidence allows us to determine that the students were kidnapped, killed, burned and thrown in the river,” said Mr. Murillo.

Since the bodies were burned beyond recognition, only one of those who went missing could be positively identified. Murillo said they had arrived to this conclusion after taking into account the evidence collected from the scene of the crime and the statements from witnesses, the most noteworthy being a confession by a member of the aforementioned gang who was arrested about two weeks back.

Many arrests have been made in this connection and even some influential people are said to have got rough treatment as the government tried to know more about the whereabouts of the male students who went missing all of a sudden. The arrested include Jose Luis Abarca, the mayor of the city of Iguala, where the students disappeared. Authorities believe Abarca and his wife ordered police to abduct the students.

Family members and relatives, however, refuse to accept this theory which was first put forward two months ago and continue to hope that at least some of them could be alive.

“We don’t believe anything of what they say,” said Carmen Cruz, mother of missing 19-year-old Jorge Cruz. “We are not going to allow this case to be closed.”

They continue to believe that the police is trying to wash its hands off the case and trying to close the matter without offering a satisfactory explanation.

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