Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is facing growing protests over the disappearance of 43 college students in Iguala, Mexico as well as ethics questions over his wife's purchase of a mansion from a company that had recently won a lucrative high-speed rail government contract.
On Monday in Acapulco, Mexico, riot police clashed with angry protesters who blocked the airport near a sign that said, "Peña, murderer. Stay in China," in reference to President Enrique Peña Nieto's trip to China. Protesters angry at the suspected massacre threw stones and firebombs at riot police, as students armed with machetes and sticks joined some of the parents of the missing students.
The country's attorney general, Jesús Murillo Karam, said in an interview with Televisa the students are still considered missing and leads are still being explored, according to the Associated Press. This came after the attorney general gave a detailed scenario last Friday of the students' fate, according to alleged gang confessions. According to prosecutors, the students were transported in tight quarters - some suffocated to death - then shot, thrown in a pyre and burned, and their ashes were put in plastic bags and thrown in a river. Families of the missing say they refuse to believe the scenario until they have physical proof.
Murillo Karam's comment that he had "had enough" ("ya me cansé," in Spanish) following a press conference on the investigation elicited fury in social media and sparked outrage inside and outside Mexico. On Monday the attorney general said he welcomed the presence of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which had been requested by the parents of the missing.
Apart from the protests, Peña Nieto faces questions on his wife's purchase of their multi-million dollar mansion from a Mexican company, Grupo Higa, which had joined with a Chinese firm to win a $3.7 billion high-speed rail contract. The bid was rescinded last week after criticism mounted that they had been the only bidders.
On Monday, the president's office denied there were any improprieties to the deal between the Mexican company and first lady Angelica Rivera. The First Lady allegedly obtained a loan for the mansion from the company and was repaying them in installments.