Mexico Charges Mayor's Wife With Organized Crime

Her brothers allegedly part of Guerreros Unidos drug gang
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 6, 2015 8:42 AM CST
Children write letters for the Feast of the Three Kings, asking for the 43 missing students, in Mexico City, Jan. 4, 2015.   (Marco Ugarte)
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(Newser) – The wife of a Mexican mayor whose police force turned 43 students over to a drug gang that allegedly killed them has been charged with organized crime and money laundering. Maria de los Angeles Pineda is the wife of Jose Luis Abarca, the former mayor of Iguala, in the southern state of Guerrero. Pineda's brothers were leading members of the Guerreros Unidos drug gang, according to prosecutors. Federal prosecutor Tomas Zeron said yesterday that Pineda has been charged with organized crime related to drug trafficking, as well as use of illicit funds.

Abarca and Pineda were arrested Nov. 4 in Mexico City. Abarca was charged with organized crime, kidnapping, and homicide in November, for events previous to the students' disappearance. Pineda had been held under a form of house arrest, but she has now been transferred to a federal prison. It's unclear if the charges against her were related to the students' disappearance. Video footage showed a grim-faced, stolid Pineda being escorted aboard a truck and then a plane as she was transferred to prison. Abarca's police force allegedly worked hand-in-glove with the Guerreros Unidos gang.

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