The FBI is beginning to help investigate the disappearance of 43 college students in Mexico, even as evidence recently surfaced that the country’s government may have been involved in rounding up the young people, NBC News reports.
The students, who were training to be teachers, vanished on Sept. 26 after protesting for more funds.
American scientists are helping analyze DNA evidence to determine whether bodies found in a mass grave in October are those of the missing students.
Prosecutors alleges that local officials were behind the disappearance. Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca, his wife and dozen of local officials have been jailed, accused of turning the students over to a local drug cartel, Guerreros Unidos, which grows opium poppies for heroin that is shipped to the U.S.
Investigative reporter Anabel Hernandez believes the Mexican government played a significant role in the disappearance.
“The government knew exactly what was happening,” she said, citing documents and cell phone videos that revealed the presence of federal police during the disappearance.
The Mexican government has denied any involvement.