The congressional commission investigating the case of Mexico's 43 students missing since September could shut down Thursday amid budget cuts. The panel is one of 19 in Mexico's Chamber of Deputies that is scheduled to close because officials want staff members, under contract until August, to resign in advance, Notimex reported.
Congresswoman Zuleyma Huidobro Gonzalez told reporters she had twice requested reports on how many of the workers weren't actively participating so she could determine how many to cut to save money, Telesur reported. "To date there has been no response to this request," she said.
The case of the 43 missing students has outraged Mexico since they disappeared on Sept. 26 on their way to protest a speech by the mayor's wife in Iguala, Guerrero. The mayor, José Luis Abarca Velázquez, is thought to have called the police to intercept the young men, whom police later turned over to a drug cartel. The incident set off waves of protests across Mexico and into the United States, with demonstrators calling out the country's leaders for corruption.
Mexico's attorney general at the time, Jesus Murillo Karam, announced in late January that the gang members probably killed the students and incinerated their remains. Only one body was identifiable, causing relatives to demand the investigation be reopened with better evidence examination. They've rallied around the motto, "Alive they took them, alive we want them back."
More than 100 people have been arrested in connection with the students' disappearance, and their treatment is at the heart of a separate commission's inquiry. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights announced Monday it had begun looking into about a dozen complaints that suspects were tortured and abused. Their findings were due to be released later this year, Agence France-Presse reported.