Mexico gives evidence to UN over missing students

Relatives pose with portraits of the 43 missing students after a press conference in Mexico City, on January 27, 2015 (AFP Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)

Geneva (AFP) - Mexican authorities gave evidence Monday to a UN committee probing the disappearance of 43 students who are feared dead, after families of the victims demanded further investigation into the case.

The UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances, which monitors compliance with an international convention, began a two-day session with representatives of the Mexican government in Geneva.

"Our presence here today before you is a result of the obligation to be accountable under this convention," said Juan Manuel Gomez Robledo, a junior minister in Mexico's foreign ministry.

Relatives of the victims met with the committee behind closed doors and called on the Mexican government to continue the investigation into the disappearances after authorities declared the students officially dead last week.

"Our government has deceived us. We do not trust them. A good response would be to tell us 'we have your kids'," Bernabe Abraham, the father of one of the students told journalists after the hearing.

In September, 43 students at a teachers' college went missing in Iguala in Guerrero state in southern Mexico after being attacked by gang-linked police. The government now says they were murdered.

Human rights groups criticised Mexico's government saying the declaration that they had died was premature because unanswered questions remain in the case, especially since DNA tests have only confirmed the death of one student.

The relatives believe that the remaining students are still alive and suspect the prosecutor is just keen to close the case.

Gomez Robledo said: "The enforced disappearances of the students of Ayotzinapa shows that we most continue to address the problems of poverty, exclusion and corruption to deal with organised crime."