What the flying #&*$!
Mexican Official Links a Mayor to Missing College Students
MEXICO CITY — The authorities on Wednesday provided a broad account of the apparent abduction of 43 college students last month in southern Mexico, saying that the police in a small city attacked them on orders of the mayor and his wife out of fear they were going to disrupt a speech she was giving.
The police detained the group, students from a left-wing teachers’ college who had angered the mayor during a previous demonstration, Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam told a news conference. The students, he said, were then turned over to a gang linked to Mayor Jose Luis Abarca of Iguala and his wife, María de los Ángeles Pineda Villa.
The local crime boss, informed by a lieutenant in a text message that the students belonged to a rival gang, apparently ordered their disappearance. Mr. Murillo Karam did not say what happened to them.
The gang leader, Sidronio Casarrubias Salgado of the Guerreros Unidos, “approved the actions to, quote unquote, defend his influence over the territory of Iguala,” Mr. Murillo Karam said. Mr. Casarrubias was arrested last weekend.
The students have been missing since Sept. 26. At least nine mass graves in the hills surrounding Iguala have been found containing 30 bodies, and Mr. Murillo Karam said that while initial tests showed none were those of the students, additional tests were being done.
The case has gripped the nation and led to mass demonstrations, and President Enrique Peña Nieto, who had hoped to focus his administration on economic improvements, now says finding them is his priority.
Mr. Murillo Karam described a deep connection between the Iguala mayor, his wife and the Guerreros Unidos gang.
He said that Mr. Abarca made payments to the gang, including money allocated to the municipal police. Yet he stopped short of saying that the mayor had ordered the students’ deaths. The mayor and his wife are fugitives.
When the students, who attended the Escuela Normal Rural Raúl Isidro Burgos, a teachers’ college, arrived in Iguala on Sept. 26, officials assumed that they were on their way to disrupt a speech by Ms. Pineda Villa, who ran a family services program.
Over the radio came the order from Mr. Abarca to stop them. In the ensuing violence, six people, including three students and three bystanders, were fatally shot. The police stopped a bus carrying a group of students and took them to headquarters.