Parents of Mexico's missing 43 students turn to Virgin of Guadalupe for justice

Parents of Mexico's missing 43 students marched towards the Basilica of Guadalupe on Tuesday in the search for justice for their loved ones, 39 months after the feared massacre.

MEXICO CITY (REUTERS) - Parents of Mexico's missing 43 students marched toward the Basilica of Guadalupe on Tuesday (Dec 26) in the search for justice for their loved ones, 39 months after the feared massacre.

The students went missing in the town of Iguala in the south-western state of Guerrero on Sept 26, 2014 after clashing with police and masked men. The government's account stated that the 43 were abducted by corrupt police and handed over to suspected members of local drug cartel Guerreros Unidos, who then killed them, incinerated the bodies and threw their ashes into a river.

But only one of the missing youths have been definitively identified so far among the remains and clues, and human rights groups have picked serious holes in the government findings.

Nearly three years on and amid the elusive search for justice, parents are looking to the Virgin of Guadalupe for answers.

The plight of the students has drawn international attention and stirred protests and outrage in Mexico, where violence has surged in a more than a decade-long drug war. Lawlessness reigns in parts of the country and has tarnished President Enrique Pena Nieto's reputation.