Experts say obstacles blocking probing of missing students

Man dressed in grim reaper costume carrying poster that reads in Spanish as "They took them Alive!" with photos of the missing 43 students from Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa, during protest in Mexico City, Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- International experts for the Inter-American Human Rights Commission said Sunday that they have run into serious obstacles in their investigation into the case of 43 college students who went missing after being detained by police in southern Mexico in 2014.

Members of the panel said at a news conference that they were concerned about being given limited access to new information uncovered by government investigators and they criticized leaks of statements from some of those arrested in the case that the panel said "don't correspond to the truth."

They also said authorities had not allowed them be present for statements by military personnel who were witnesses of the disappearance or been given access to videos that could clarify what happened that night.

Later Sunday, the federal Attorney General's Office issued a statement reaffirming its willingness to work with the expert panel and saying it already is investigating the leaks. It denied that officials have fragmented findings from the government's investigation, which it said remains open.

In their first report in September, the expert panel rejected the official version of the government that after being killed, the students' bodies were incinerated at a dump. The panel charged at that time that some Mexican authorities had obstructed justice in the case.

The students from a local teachers college have not been seen since Sept. 26, 2014, when they were detained after clashing with municipal police in the city of Iguala in Guerrero state. Six other people were killed during the clashes, including some not involved in the confrontation.

Government prosecutors have said the police turned the students over to a local drug gang, which killed them and burned their bodies.