- Three Mexican film students who went missing five weeks ago were kidnapped, tortured, killed and likely dissolved in acid, investigators said Monday, a gruesome end to a case that triggered vehement protests.
Mexican officials said Jalisco New Generation Cartel members mistook Javier Aceves, 25, Marco García, 20, and Daniel Díaz, 20, as members of a rival drug cartel when they kidnapped the men March 19.
According to witnesses, heavily armed men posing as police officers accosted the students after their vehicle broke down.
Prosecutors say the bodies were taken to a third location, where investigators believe they were dissolved in sulfuric acid.
Protests have been called in several cities of the Latin American country where almost 8,000 people have been killed since the start of 2018.More news: SoCal Armenian community marks genocide anniversary
More news: Turkish president calls snap elections for June
More news: Jose to Spurs: Wembley sojourn won't save you
The University Students Federation (FEU) of Guadalajara's University (UdeG) called for a protest next Thursday, April 26, at the "Missing People Square".
Academy Award winning director Guillermo del Toro, who is a native of Guadalajara, expressed outrage on social media in response to the killings. The trio was kidnapped by at least six people, Jalisco state prosecutors said.
The Guerrero state prosecutor, in that case, said that the students had been handed by corrupt local police to a criminal gang, who killed them and burned their bodies.
The confirmation of their death came after investigators seized three barrels filled with acid from a house in the city of Tonala, where the students had been filming. The investigation is continuing as more potential culprits may be at large, the Jalisco state attorney general, Raul Sanchez said in a news conference. There are now more than 33,000 people missing in Mexico, a number that has exploded along with the murder rate as the country struggles to rein in brutal violence linked to drug trafficking. Homicides hit their highest level in records going back 20 years.