Forty-three college students have disappeared in southern Mexico, feared buried in mass graves recently discovered.
Prosecutors attribute the Sept. 26 disappearances to police, who also killed six and wounded at least 25 in separate attacks.
Officials are conducting DNA tests to determine if some of the missing students are among 28 charred bodies found last weekend in freshly covered mass graves in the Mexican state of Guerrero near the town of Iguala. Investigators said video showed police taking away an undetermined number of students, who had gone from a rural teachers college in Ayotzinapa to the city to solicit donations.
A student who survived the attack says it was local police who kidnapped them. This is not a case of organized crime, he says; it's a state problem.
Some suspects already arrested indicate the kidnappers were local police. Thirty-four people, including 26 members of the Iguala police force, are under arrest. Iguala's mayor is a fugitive.
A person detained in the case had told investigators that 17 students were taken to the site outside Iguala, about 120 miles south of Mexico City, and killed there.
The students were being trained as teachers who would hike deep into the remote hills to educate some of Mexico's poorest children in areas often controlled by drug gangs.
Thousands of angry people have turned out to protest, who are pleading with the Mexican federal government to oust the Guerrero governor for failing to keep citizens safe.
A spokesman for the Mexican Consul General in Los Angeles says President Enrique Pena Nieto is taking sweeping action, replacing the entire police department and seizing their weapons.
"The national police and the army have arrived to Iguala in order to guarantee the security of all citizens," said press attache Sergio Gutierrez.
There have been calls from around the world for justice, including the U.S. State Department and the Organization of American States, where Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza said all of Latin America is grieving.
The students and their families come mostly from the remote mountains of the southern state of Guerrero, where they live in poverty under the thumb of corrupt governments, drug traffickers or armed vigilante groups that have sprung up in reaction to the region's lawlessness.