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In Mexico, Officials Say They Have Found More Mass Graves

Students hold a banner with the faces of the missing that reads in Spanish "Iguala, cradle of murders."
Eduardo Verdugo
Students hold a banner with the faces of the missing that reads in Spanish "Iguala, cradle of murders."

Authorities in Mexico issued some important updates on the the disappearance of 43 students in the state of Guerrero. According to the Mexican newspaper El Universal:

-- First, authorities said that the 28 bodies inside mass graves found on Oct. 4, are not those of the missing students.

-- Authorities also said that they had arrested 14 police officers who allegedly confessed to arresting the students and then turning them over to members of the cartel "Guerreros Unidos."

-- Separately,El Universal also reports that local community police found four other mass graves near the area where the students went missing.

The Associated Press adds:

"An alleged leader of that drug gang, Guerreros Unidos, killed himself during a confrontation with Mexican security forces Tuesday, a day after protesters demanding an investigation into the students' whereabouts burned government buildings in Chilpancingo, capital of the southern state of Guerrero.

"Federal forces, which include federal police and military personnel, were carrying out an operation to capture Benjamin Mondragon, or 'Benjamon,' the alleged head of the Guerreros Unidos gang in the neighboring state of Morelos, when a gunfight broke out, a federal official said. The official, who was not authorized to be quoted by name, did not say which federal force had taken part in the confrontation. Mondragon killed himself as he was about to be arrested, the official said, though he had no details on how.

"The official said it was unclear whether Mondragon was involved in the students' disappearances."

NPR's Carrie Kahn reports that the country's national security commissioner said "nearly 900 troops have been sent to patrol Iguala, 300 of which are dedicated to the search for the missing students."

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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