Three Mexican film students who went missing five weeks ago were kidnapped, tortured, killed and likely dissolved in acid, investigators said Monday, a gruesome end to a case that triggered vehement protests.
The students — Salomon Aceves Gastelum, 25; Daniel Diaz, 20; and Marco Avalos, 20 — went missing on March 19 as they returned from shooting a film project outside Guadalajara, Mexico’s second city, where they attended the University of Audiovisual Media.
Witnesses said they were intercepted by a group of six to eight men who forced them into another car and fled.
The case drew outraged protests from their fellow students, backed by Mexican film luminaries such as Oscar-winning directors Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuaron.
There are currently more than 33,000 people missing in Mexico, a number that has exploded along with the murder rate as the country struggles to rein in brutal violence linked to drug trafficking.
Missing persons cases often go unsolved, in a country where more than 90 percent of violent crimes are never punished.
The most notable example is the disappearance and feared massacre in 2014 of 43 students who were studying to be teachers in the southern state of Guerrero.
Chief investigator Lizette Torres said the film students’ kidnappers are believed to belong to the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel, a powerful crime syndicate based in the western state where they studied.
“There is no indication that (the students) themselves had any link with any cartel,” she told journalists.
Investigators believe one of the students had a relative involved in a rival cartel and that they may have been murdered in a revenge killing, she said.
The confirmation of their death came after investigators seized three barrels filled with acid from a house in the city of Tonala, where the students had been filming.
DNA tests will be carried out to determine whether the students’ bodies were dissolved in the acid, Torres said.
Trump’s alleged ‘checkup’ at Walter Reed was ‘abnormal’ and ‘scheduled last minute’: report
President Donald Trump's unexpected trip to Walter Reed medical center did not follow "routine" protocols for a presidential medical exam, CNN's Jeremy Diamond reported on Sunday.
A source familiar with Trump's visit to the hospital told Diamond that staff was not notified prior to the president's visit.
President Donald Trump's visit to Walter Reed on Saturday did not follow the protocol of a routine presidential medical exam, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Trump turned the Louisiana and Kentucky races into a ‘referendum’ on himself and it ‘backfired’: Politico
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In the wake of Trump failing to persuade voters on Louisiana to oust Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards and replace him with multimillionaire businessman Eddie Rispone, the Politico correspondent said Trump's attempt to demonstrate his pull with voters "backfired in dramatic fashion."
Trump illiteracy goes viral after he calls Pam Bondi ‘a great womem’: ‘He can’t admit he’s wrong to autocorrect’
President Donald Trump was mocked by Twitter users on Sunday after mistakenly referred to Pam Bondi as a "great womem."
In a Sunday morning tweet, Trump attempted to praise Bondi, who has taken a job at the White House to help with impeachment messaging.
meaning of the typo?
"womem"EMElon Musk?? pic.twitter.com/PGVSEeXQzm
— TheGreatAwakening (@TheGreatAwake17) November 17, 2019