MEXICO CITY – Some parents of 43 Mexican college students who disappeared six months ago are turning to the purported leader of a drug gang and asking for his help in learning more about what happened to their sons.
Federal prosecutors have alleged that local police in Guerrero state turned the students over to a different drug gang, Guerreros Unidos, which killed the young men and burned their bodies. Relatives of the missing have rejected the government's account of what happened in the city of Iguala.
Several families hung two banners in Iguala on Tuesday asking for help from Santiago Mazari Hernandez, the alleged leader of the Reds gang, a rival of Guerreros Unidos. In February, the Reds put up banners saying the gang had nothing to do with the students' disappearance Sept. 26 but adding that Mazari was open to meeting with relatives to talk about the case.
Meliton Ortega, father of one of the missing students who recently served as a spokesman for the families, said relatives were in Iguala on Tuesday handing out leaflets asking people to provide any information they had about the disappearance. He said the banners were not part of the group activities, but were put up some families out of desperation.