Mexican Police were disarmed by federal authorities after accusations they slaughtered dozens of students came to a fever pitch when a mass grave of 28 burnt bodies were found in a southern Mexican city.
The entire police department of Iguala, located 125 miles south of Mexico City, had their weapons stripped by a federal unit tasked with holding order in the city and helping search for the 43 students who went missing last month following a deadly police shooting.
It is believed Iguala police were working on behest of local drug cartels.
President Enrique Pena Nieto has vowed to establish justice and bring an end to corruption in the country. Nieto said he had dispatched the federal forces to Iguala to “find out what happened and apply the full extent of the law to those responsible.”
State prosecutor Inaky Blanco has said the recovered bodies probably belonged to the missing students. State officials also say it will take up to two weeks to receive the results of DNA tests to identify the corpses.
The students, all trainee teachers, went missing following a police attack on September 26 against a protest over teachers’ rights.
According to Blanco, state investigators have obtained video footage showing local police arresting a number of students during the clashes and taking them away.
Prosecutors said the Guerreros Unidos drug gang also participated in the police shooting that left six people dead and 25 others wounded.
Mexican authorities have already arrested 22 officers and issued arrest warrants for Iguala mayor Jose Luis Albarca and his security chief over the deadly incident.