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Clashes erupt as Mexicans protest over missing students

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Students riot outside Military Camp 1 during a demonstration to demand the extradition of a Mexican official investigated for the disappearance of 43 students in 2014. (AFP photo)

Mexican protesters have clashed with security forces during a protest over the disappearance of 43 students in 2014.

The demonstration was held on Friday, with the protesters pulling down metal fencing and trying to enter Military Camp No. 1 in Mexico City in the latest event marking the eighth anniversary of the tragedy.

Mexico City officials said nearly 40 security forces and police officers were injured in the clashes which came a day after ten other officers were injured during another protest demanding justice for the missing students.

On Wednesday, the relatives of the students gathered in front of the Israeli Embassy in Mexico City and demanded the extradition of Tomas Zeron, the former chief investigator, who is guilty of one of the worst human rights tragedies.

Investigators say the students were arrested by corrupt police and handed over to organ and drug trafficking gangs. But the exact details about what happened in this crime are not yet known.

Last month, a fact-finding commission tasked with investigating various aspects of this incident called it a “state crime” and blamed various government institutions.

In the commission's statement, it is stated that the military personnel are clearly responsible for this crime and have been negligent in all its stages from the beginning of the investigation.

So far, arrest warrants have been issued for more than 80 suspects, including military personnel, police officers and some security agents.

Former Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam, who led the controversial investigation into the mass disappearances, was arrested last month on charges of enforced disappearance, torture and obstruction of justice.

Rights groups have slammed the Mexican government for its mishandling of the incident, describing it as a “stain” on its human rights record.

The Mexican government has displayed a “reckless approach to human rights,” Amnesty International said in a statement released in September 2016.

The allegations of police complicity in the incident have led to mass protests throughout the country.

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