The Slatest

Mexican Mayor and Wife Suspected in Disappearance of 43 Students

Demonstrators listen to the father of one of the missing students at a protest in Mexico City.

Photo by Tomas Bravo/Reuters

Mexico’s attorney general says the mayor of the town of Iguala and his wife are suspected of involvement in the disappearance of 43 student protesters in the area last month. From NPR:

On Wednesday, Mexico’s attorney general said an arrest warrant has been issued for Mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda.

Jesus Murillo Karam, the country’s top prosecutor, also named the mayor’s wife as the “principal operator” of the trafficking group known as the Guerreros Unidos, and that she together with her husband ran the group’s illegal activities right out of Iguala’s City Hall.

The students were apparently headed toward Iguala when they were intercepted and attacked by police acting on the instructions of the mayor; six students were killed outright, and 43 are still missing. It’s still unclear exactly why the traffickers felt these students—who were protesting education reforms and trying to raise money—were a threat, although Mexican student movements’ traditionally leftist, democratic politics certainly don’t align with the kind of quasi-military narco-oligarchy that the cartels prefer.

The mayor and his wife have not been located and are considered fugitives.