March honors 43 students missing in Mexico

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SAN DIEGO — About a dozen people marched through downtown Friday, in protest of the Mexican government’s investigation following the disappearance of 43 students one year ago.

In honor of the students, they’re marching 43 miles over three days. They started at the border Thursday and  Friday they made a stop in front of the Mexican Consulate.

“It is a government that is inflicted with corruption from all levels – and these 43 students were fighting against that,” said Marco Amaral, a march organizer.

Authorities first reported the students were detained and abducted by police in the southern state of Guerrero on September 26, 2014. Then they were delivered to members of a cartel who mistook the students for rival gang members and then slaughtered the students and buried their bodies in a garbage dump.

Roque Mateo, a Fallbrook resident, says his godson was one of the students.

“He was here working with me. He went back to Mexico — decided to go back to school,” said Mateo.

A newly-released independent report takes apart the government theory, suggesting there’s no evidence the students were burned and that they were attacked because they unknowingly seized a bus used by a cartel to move drugs.

Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto has promised to seek the truth, amid accusations he’s part of a cover-up.

Meanwhile, many family members and protesters believe the students are still alive.

“We don’t know where they’re at, nobody knows. We don’t know what’s happened to them, but the parents believe they’re alive. And if you’re a parent of missing child — until there’s evidence to the contrary — you would believe they’re alive,” said Amaral.

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