MEXICO CITY, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Thousands of people marched in Mexico City on Saturday to demand justice for 43 missing students on the anniversary of their disappearance.
The parents of the students led the march on Saturday, carrying photos of their loved ones, to peacefully mark the sorrowful event. About 18,000 people participated, warning authorities that they will not allow the case to be closed.
"We will not allow this case to be closed as the government has tried through a thousand ways, wanting to impose their historical truth," said Meliton Ortega, a father of one of the missing students, El Universal reported.
In 2014, 43 students traveled to the town of Iguala in Mexico's Guerrero state and clashed with police, who opened fire. Police then allegedly handed the students over to drug gangs. Soldiers were at the scene of the clash and relatives of the missing students believe the soldiers played a role in the disappearances by failing to act.
Further investigation into the incident revealed that the municipal police was infiltrated by drug gangs. The three suspects in the case, Patricio Reyes, Jhonatan Osorio and Agustin Garcia, confessed to killing the students and burning the bodies, alleging they were told the students were rival drug gang members.
Only one burnt body of the 43 missing students has been found, which has generated skepticism of whether they were killed at all. Many Mexicans, the parents of the missing students especially, reject the government's official account of the events.
The parents want an international panel of experts to take over the investigation.
On Thursday, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the missing student's disappearance. The parents of the missing students accuse the government of leading flawed investigations in attempts to mislead the public.
"How is it possible, gentlemen, you want to do a new survey? We are not playing. After so much suffering [the government] has given us by saying they found the graves and then that they were burned. We no longer believe so many lies... and all of Mexican society does not believe them," said Epifanio Álvarez, another father of one of the missing students, Excelsior reported.