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Three men confess to killing 43 Mexican students

The three men said the students were handed over to the Guerrero Unidos gang by local police.

By Danielle Haynes
Local police in Mexico. (UPI/Shutterstock/Takamex)
Local police in Mexico. (UPI/Shutterstock/Takamex)

IGUALA, Mexico, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Three alleged gang members on Friday confessed to killing 43 Mexican college students who disappeared in September.

The missing students from Escuela Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa were en route to a protest when their bus was attacked by gunmen in Iguala on Sept. 26. Three students and three others were killed in the ambush.

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The three men, Patricio Reyes Landa, Jhonatan Osorio Gomez and Agustin Garcia Reyes, allegedly told law enforcement the students were handed over to the Guerrero Unidos gang by local police.

Fifteen of the students were already dead of asphyxia when they were brought to the gang, the rest were burned alive in a trash can, Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said.

Forensic scientists were working to identify the victims from the burnt remains law enforcement found.

Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda, were arrested Tuesday for allegedly masterminding the attack.

According to Karam, the couple wanted to get rid of the students because they didn't want the students' protest to disrupt a planned political event hosted by Pineda in the town the same day.

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Dozens of other arrests had been made, including more than 20 local police.

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