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Parents of missing 43 Mexican students ask local gang boss for help in search

People gather at a candlelight vigil  to commemorate the sixth month of the disappeared 43 rural college students in front of the Mexican Attorney General's office, in Mexico City, Thursday, March 26, 2015. Angry citizens and parents of the 43 missing students urged the country not to abandon them. On Thursday, the Attorney General's Office issued a statement reiterating that the government had conducted a transparent and exhaustive investigation. Federal investigators say local police handed the students over to a drug gang, which killed them and incinerated their remains. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

People gather at a candlelight vigil to commemorate the sixth month of the disappeared 43 rural college students in front of the Mexican Attorney General's office, in Mexico City, Thursday, March 26, 2015. Angry citizens and parents of the 43 missing students urged the country not to abandon them. On Thursday, the Attorney General's Office issued a statement reiterating that the government had conducted a transparent and exhaustive investigation. Federal investigators say local police handed the students over to a drug gang, which killed them and incinerated their remains. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

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 Hernández, 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.

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