IGUALA , Mexico, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Protesters demanding answers to the abduction of 43 students unsuccessfully attempted to enter an Iguala, Mexico, army base to search for those missing.
Clashes were reported Monday outside the army barracks between relatives and supporters of the missing students and soldiers of the Mexican Army's 27th Battalion. No injuries or arrests were reported. Protesters burned two trucks as they left the base.
The protesters believe the army was complicit in the disappearance of the students, all trainee teachers, on Sept. 26, claiming soldiers were present when federal police attacked the students but did not intervene. Prosecutors said a local drug syndicate, Guerreros Unidos, informed them the group of 43 was surrendered to the gang and killed in the mistaken belief the victims were members of a rival drug gang. Local police officers have admitted detaining the students and surrendering them to the gang. The students' families are skeptical of the federal government's account of the incident, and last month the Mexican news magazine Proceso published a report indicating the federal police killed the students. Former Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife have been blamed by the families for their involvement in plotting the incident, and are in custody for homicide, a court statement saying Maria de los Angeles Pineda allegedly had been acting as a financial go-between for the drug gang.
The students are presumed dead, and the Guerreros Unidos claim they burned the bodies and deposited the remains in a river. A bone, found in the river, matches that of one of the missing students.
The case has provoked mass protests in Mexico by citizens angry over the alleged involvement between criminal groups and local authorities, and the federal government's investigation is Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's most serious crisis.