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Massacres in Mexico underscore government collusion with cartels

Two recent massacres tell the story of human rights failures in Mexico.

One massacre was committed by municipal police in Iguala, the second one by Mexican soldiers in Tlatlaya. Both occurred in areas teeming with crime, and activists have linked each one to a government increasingly powerless against drug cartels and violence.

Thousands are protesting the disappearance of 43 students from a Iguala school known for its progressivism and activism. Police allegedly opened fire on the youth, and 22 officers have since been arrested. The officers may have acted on behalf of a cartel targeting the activist students, though the investigation is ongoing.

Many believed the discovery of 28 unidentified bodies found in a mass grave would be some of the students, but a DNA test did not result in a match.

About 50 people, including 14 police officers, have been arrested in connection with the students’ disappearance.

“This is one of the mysteries surrounding this terrible tragedy which has once again plunged Mexico into bloodshed and violence,” said former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge CastaƱeda.

About 100 miles away in Tlatlaya, Mexican soldiers were implicated in the shooting deaths of 21 men and a 15-year-old girl earlier this summer.

Seven soldiers were arrested after an AP report, and the government says at least three of them will be charged with murder.

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