Mexico’s attorney general said Wednesday that forensic experts had identified a possible match for a second victim in the abduction and purported killing of 43 students last year.
There were "signs that establish a possible connection" between the remains found in plastic bags in a river and missing student Jhosivani Guerrero de la Cruz, one of the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers' College in the city of Iguala, Attorney General Arely Gomez told reporters, according to Reuters.
The remains were identified by Austrian forensic experts from Innsbruck Medical University, who have already identified one missing student based on a bone fragment.
Mexico’s central government has claimed that the students were abducted by corrupt police officers in the state of Guerrero, who handed them over to a local drug gang, who incinerated them and threw their remains into a river. Authorities officially closed the case in December, but families of the victims continued to push for a more thorough investigation with greater oversight.
However, their findings were disputed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which found in a report earlier this month that the government’s investigation was flawed, and said that the incineration at the garbage dump had never happened.
The kidnapping and the government's’ perceived incompetence in the investigation has sparked a massive outcry in Mexico against kidnappings and organized crime. Under massive domestic and international pressure, the previous attorney general Jesus Murillo Karam resigned in February after he finished conducting the investigation, which only turned up one identifiable body.
Kidnapping incidents in Mexico increased by nearly 30 percent in June, underscoring the rising problem of lawlessness that is driven by Mexico’s powerful drug cartels. The administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto has seen over 6,000 kidnappings since he came to power, leading to widespread unhappiness with his handling of the situation. A March poll found that only 39 percent of Mexicans approved of his leadership.