By Jo Tuckman / The Guardian
On the night of 26 September 2014, a group of students in Guerrero were ambushed by municipal police as they traveled in a convoy of buses through the city of Iguala.
Five people, including two students, were killed when the officers opened fire on the buses, and another student was later found dead, his body showing signs of horrific torture.
Forty-three other students simply disappeared without trace.
A government investigation soon concluded that the police – in the pay of a local drug gang called Guerreros Unidos – mistook the students for members a rival drug gang known as Los Rojos.
As the first anniversary of the events approaches, however, momentum is growing behind the hypothesis that real target of the attack was not the students – but the bus they were traveling in.
Speculation has focused on the theory that the students unwittingly commandeered a vehicle which was carrying a hidden shipment of heroin or money, which the corrupt police officers were dispatched to hunt down and recover.
“The hypothesis that the students were confused with a rival gang has been completely discounted,” said Carlos Beristain, one of a group of independent experts assembled by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to pick over the government’s investigation into the massacre.
“The hypothesis about the bus is strong. There are elements pointing to it, and it would explain the modus operandi of that night.”