Mexico Blames Crooked Mayor for Missing Students

Iguala mayor, wife now fugitives
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2014 3:09 AM CDT
Mexico: Mayor Behind Student Disappearances
The mayor of the city of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, right, and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda Villa, meet with state government officials earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Alejandrino Gonzalez, File)

The corruption in Iguala, Mexico, went all the way to the top: The city's mayor and his wife were behind the disappearance of 43 student teachers almost a month ago, authorities say. Mexico's attorney general says the leader of the Guerreros Unidos gang has told investigators that Mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife had ordered authorities to make sure the students didn't disrupt a political event she was hosting, reports the BBC. The gang leader, who was caught by authorities last week, says police turned the student demonstrators over to gang members, who mistook them for members of a rival gang.

The mayor and his wife—described by authorities as the "probable masterminds" of the disappearances—are on the run, as is the city's chief of police. Numerous mass graves have been found in the hills around Iguala, although none of the dozens of bodies unearthed so far have been identified as missing students. Yesterday, after thousands marched in the city to protest the disappearances, demonstrators smashed windows and set fire to Iguala's town hall, reports Reuters. (More Iguala stories.)

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