In Mexico, parents hold vigil for 43 students.

Author:Stevenson, Mark

Byline: Mark Stevenson

TIXTLA, Mexico -- Two weeks after 43 students disappeared in a clash with police in rural southern Mexico, dozens of anxious parents have gathered at a teachers' college that was supposed to be their sons' escape from life as subsistence farmers.

Wearing donated clothing, they wait for any word on the fate of their children, eating simple meals of rice, beans and tortillas and holding prayer sessions in a makeshift shelter on the school's covered courtyard.

''They took him away alive, and that's the way I want him back,'' said Macedonia Torres Romero, whose son Jose Luis is among the disappeared.

But it seems ever more unlikely as time passes.

Prosecutors attribute the Sept. 26 disappearances to police, who also killed six and wounded at least 25 in separate attacks. The case has outraged Mexicans even in a country where abuse of authority is common in remote areas. Some of the detained led authorities last weekend to mass graves holding 28 bodies that some fear belong to the students. Their identities are still unknown.

That 43 young men went missing at the hands of the state has drawn calls from around the world for justice, including the U.S. State Department and the Organization of American States, where Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza said all of Latin America is grieving.

Four more police officers have been arrested in the case, bringing the total to 26, state prosecutor Inaky Blanco announced Thursday. He also said he is asking the state congress to strip Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca of the political immunity elected officials have under Mexican law. Abarca, who authorities say is on the run, may face charges as well for not intervening to stop the attacks.

The teachers' college students and their families come mostly from the remote mountains of the southern state of Guerrero, where they live in poverty under the thumb of corrupt governments, drug...

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