Flickr/Isabel Sanginés/

Mexican authorities have finally said what happened to the college students from Ayotzinapa who disappeared last September, an incident that sparked months of outrage throughout the country.

Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam announced Tuesday that the students “were killed, burned and thrown into the river.”

As The New York Times pointed out, the Mexican government has been criticized by the students’ parents and human rights groups for slowness in the investigation:

Mr. Murillo Karam, in what appeared to be an effort to convince an increasingly skeptical public that investigators had solved the crime, showed photographs of charred remains, snippets of videotaped confessions and the crime scene. He also disclosed that nearly 100 people had been arrested, 39 confessions obtained and thousands of fragments of human remains recovered.

Over somber music, he played a short video account of the night of the crime, based on what investigators had learned.

The case has led to a series of mass protest marches, most recently on Monday, and raised doubts about the rule of law in Mexico. It has helped send President Enrique Peña Nieto’s approval ratings plummeting to levels not seen by a Mexican president in two decades.

The president has promised to revamp local policing and adopt measures to address widespread impunity, but analysts have said he also does not wish a security crisis to define a term that he had hoped would be devoted to improving a slowing economy and buffing Mexico’s image.

–Posted by Donald Kaufman

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