And then there were 41?
Three disputes arose this month:
(i) Two days ago, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto met with families of the vanished students. He offered to set up a new unit in the Attorney General´s Office to investigate disappeared persons.
However, the families are not satisfied. They seek an independent international investigation not only of the vanished students but also of the Mexican Government for obstruction of justice.
(ii) The Institute for Forensic Medicine at Innsbruck University (Austria) announced it identified via advanced DNA technology the remains of a second vanished student, Jhosivani Guerrero de la Cruz. The Institute also reconfirmed the remains from Alexander Mora Venancio identified in December.
However, Argentine forensic specialists disputed on technical grounds Innsbruck´s identification of Jhosivani as final.
(iii) The fragments of Alexander Mora Venancio were found in a rubbish dump where, according to the Mexican Government, the bodies of the 43 students were burned by Guerreros Unidos, a drug gang that mistook the students for rival gang members.
However, an independent investigative study commissioned by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (OAS) disputed the Mexican Government´s conclusion. The BBC summed up:
"After a six-month investigation, the Washington-based IACHR released a report of nearly 500 pages urging the government to continue looking for the missing students.
A Peruvian fire expert hired by the commission concluded that it was impossible for all the bodies to have been burned at the landfill site in the municipality of Cocula, in the western state of Guerrero.
José Torero, from the University of Queensland in Australia, said it would have required 13 tonnes of tyres, 20 tonnes of wood and 13 tonnes of diesel to cremate the bodies.
It would have taken the gang 60 hours to finish the job, he said.
´There is no evidence indicating the presence of a fire of the size [needed] for the cremation of even one body,´ Mr. Torero concluded."
This blog advanced a disturbing solution to the mystery: see our post of January 30, 2015, "The Vanished 43 Mexican Students: A New Explanation." Disappeared cadavers of young males in a region where killers do not normally destroy their victims´ cadavers = ?
We offered The Horrific Hypothesis:
The students were murdered for their organs. Their cadavers were destroyed to conceal the work of organ traffickers.
I sent an email to José Torero, the engineer who conducted the OAS pyrotechnic study; he and his colleagues read our January post. An excerpt follows:
"As for your singularly constructive study, I think you know already where I am headed.
Numerous options exist. Two follow:
(1) All salable organs were extracted from the 43 bodies; the remains of the bodies were then burned at the site indicated by criminals. In other words, complete cadavers were not burned. Specialists know how much in body weight, etc., remains if all organs worth harvesting from a cadaver are removed.
(2) Some of the remains of the 43 harvested cadavers were actually burned at the site indicated. Thus, the criminals would be telling the truth -- but not the whole truth. Their motive would be to throw investigators off track regarding what really happened, i.e., organs were harvested and what remained of the cadavers was disposed someplace else.
I lived three years in Mexico. I believe that if it is shown that the students were murdered for their organs, an incredible public outrage will emerge that the government and criminals alike dread."
* * *
What is to be done?
1. The United Nations should create an international bank of DNA samples from disappeared persons.
2. The UN should create laws establishing that
(i) all human organs offered for sale must undergo a DNA test. The findings would then be compared to the DNA samples in the international bank.
(ii) All human organs offered for sale must have an identification allowing their source to be traced. I note in passing that France already has such an identification for beef products, so the technology exists.
3. As for the missing Mexican students:
Our January post recommended that the UN oversee an inspection program in which all human organs received in hospitals and clinics worldwide after September 2014 (when the students vanished) undergo a DNA test. The results would then be compared with DNA samples from the missing students. That is the only credible, scientific way to verify or reject The Horrific Hypothesis.
The two charts at the top of this post show that, among other things, the small supply -- 10% -- relative to demand explains why organs are incredibly expensive.
The chart of prices for organs shows it is not unreasonable to conclude that all salable organs from one cadaver are worth $700,000. We are excluding from consideration the black market where prices are higher, e.g., a black market kidney costs up to $160,000 versus $84,400 shown above.
43 students = $30 million minimum. Now you know why somebody did it. Motive + opportunity. As our January post discussed, with such megabucks in play, no wonder criminal cartels are taking a long hard look at what could far outstrip the drug trade in profitability.
The 43 students are only the tip of Mexico´s human catastrophe that must not be covered up. In 2006-2012, according to the Interior Minister, 26,121 people disappeared.
The official version says most of the vanished were directly or indirectly victims of drug cartel turf wars.
The Horrific Hypothesis says something else.