Mexico Busts Fugitive Mayor Blamed in Students' Disappearance

Jose Luis Abarca, wife caught by federal officers in Mexico City
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2014 7:23 AM CST
Mexico Busts Fugitive Mayor Blamed in Students' Disappearance
In this May 8, 2014, file photo, the mayor of the city of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, right, and wife Maria de los Angeles Pineda Villa meet with state government officials in Chilpancingo, Mexico.   (AP Photo/Alejandrino Gonzalez, File)

(Newser) – Federal police have arrested Jose Luis Abarca, a fugitive Mexican mayor, and his wife, who have been called the "probable masterminds" behind the disappearance of 43 student protesters in their city, the BBC reports. The Iguala mayor and wife Maria de los Angeles Pineda Villa were busted in an apartment in Mexico City and are being questioned as authorities continue their search for the missing students. Efforts to find the students in mass graves around Iguala have thus far been unsuccessful, with tests suggesting bodies found didn't belong to the students.

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But experts have questioned the results of those tests, the BBC notes, and more bodies have been found. Abarca faces three arrest warrants, NPR reports, quoting Mexico's Animal Politico: "One for the killing of three people that happened in the clashes that led to the disappearance of the students; another, a tentative mass homicide charge for the disappearance of the 43 college students; and another for the murder of a local leader in 2013." (Read more Mexico stories.)

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