Mexico City – Parents and supporters of the 43 students kidnapped and apparently murdered three months ago in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero gathered in front of the German Embassy here Thursday to demand that Berlin halt gun sales to Mexico.
Protest leader Felipe de la Cruz said “We are before this embassy to demand that they stop selling arms to Mexico because they are being used to kill the students."
The Mexican Attorney General's Office told the families that the guns used against the students in Guerrero "are of German origin," De la Cruz said.
Germany is a signatory to international accords barring sales of guns to conflict zones, he said.
Pursuant to those pacts, Germany should halt exports of guns to the Mexican states of Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Chihuahua and Michoacan, according to Vidulfo Rosales, an attorney representing the students' families.
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The perpetrators of the violent events of Sept. 26 in Iguala, Guerrero, used German-made HK36 automatic rifles, Rosales said.
The students' families are not demanding the resignation of Mexico's president, Enrique Peña Nieto, but simply the safe return of their missing children, De la Cruz said on behalf of the parents, who reject authorities' claim that the youths were killed and their bodies burned.
"The fact that some official resigns doesn't solve any problem for us," De la Cruz said, calling on everyone who supports the families to turn out on Friday for a march in Mexico City.
The students' families protested Wednesday night outside the official presidential residence to remind Peña Nieto that their struggle continues through the holiday season.
The missing young people were students at Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School, a teacher's college.
Scores of Ayotzinapa students were assaulted by police on the night of Sept. 26 near Iguala. Six people and 25 others wounded, while 43 students were abducted.
Mexican authorities say corrupt municipal cops handed over the students to drug-cartel enforcers who killed the young people and then incinerated them at a nearby dump.
Families of the students have been unwilling to accept the federal government's account, which places sole blame for the massacre on ousted Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife, who are in custody.
Earlier this month, a group of respected Mexican scientists issued a report stating that the official version of the cremation of the bodies "has no support in facts or in physical, chemical or natural phenomena."
The salvo from the scientists was followed last week by the publication in newsweekly Proceso of a story drawing on a confidential Guerrero state government document that points to Mexico's Federal Police as the perpetrators of the slaughter.
At the time, the company denied any wrongdoing. No one from the company's public relations department immediately responded to an email seeking comment Thursday. A person who answered the telephone at the company's office in Oberndorf am Neckar, Germany, said no one was in the office on Christmas Day.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press and EFE.