Two of the buses were stopped right outside the town of Iguala, surrounded by police or military-style forces. 43 of the students were ordered to get off the buses, and were never seen again.
The incident demonstrates the pervasive level of corruption in Mexico, since either local police or Mexican federal military forces with ties to a drug cartel are believed to have been involved in the incident.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Igua ... kidnapping
According to the NY Times:
Municipal police officers encircled the bus, detonated tear gas, punctured the tires and forced the college students who were onboard to get off.
"We're going to kill all of you," the officers warned according to the bus driver. A policeman approached the driver and pointed a pistol at his chest. "You too," the officer said.
With a military intelligence official looking on and state and federal police officers in the immediate vicinity, witnesses said, the students were put into police vehicles and taken away. They have not been seen since.
They were among the 43 students who vanished in the city of Iguala one night in September 2014 amid violent, chaotic circumstances laid bare by an international panel of investigators who have been examining the matter for more than a year. The reason for the students' abduction remains a mystery.
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/25/worl ... s-say.html
On November 7, 2014, the family members of the missing students had a conference with the Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam. In the meeting, authorities confirmed to the families that they had found several bags containing unidentified human remains. According to investigators, three alleged members of the Guerreros Unidos gang, Patricio Reyes Landa ("El Pato"), Jonathan Osorio Gómez ("El Jona",) and Agustín García Reyes ("El Chereje") directed authorities to the location of the bags alongside the San Juan river in Cocula. Murillo Karam stated that the three suspects admitted to having killed a group of around 40 people in Cocula on September 26, 2014. The suspects stated that once the police handed over the students to them, they transported them in trucks to a dumping ground just outside town. By the time they got there, 15 students had died from asphyxiation. The remaining students were interrogated and then killed. The suspects dumped the bodies in a huge pit before fueling the corpses with diesel, gasoline, tires, wood and plastic. They then filled up eight plastic bags, smashed the bones, and threw them in the river on orders from a Guerreros Unidos member known as "El Terco."
On December 6, 2014, the first of the 43 missing students, Alexander Mora Venancio (aged 19), was confirmed dead by forensic specialists after the bones were sent abroad to a university in Austria. Specialists were able to confirm the status of Mora Venacio by comparing his bone fragments with the DNA samples the laboratory had of his father and his brothers.
In an NPR interview with investigative journalist Anabel Hernandez, it is claimed the two buses contained secret compartments containing 2 million dollars worth of heroin. The students were on their way to a protest and, like they did every year, had taken and commandeered buses to get to the protest in Mexico City. Unknown to the students was the fact that two of the five buses they had taken were being used by drug dealers to transport drugs. They didn't know it and were almost just victims of circumstance.
Hernandez had to flee to Italy after publishing her book because her life was in danger.
https://www.npr.org/2018/10/21/65890001 ... -in-mexico