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A Mass Murder Too Far
by James Dunnigan
November 21, 2014

The Mexican government claimed that the mayor of the town Iguala (Guerrero state, about 200 kilometers south of Mexico City) was responsible for the kidnapping and probable murder of 43 students who disappeared on September 26 as they were marching from the town of Ayotzinapa toward Iguala.  Originally 57 students were missing but 13 were located on September 30. Federal prosecutors have charged Iguala mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife with homicide. The mayor’s wife is the sister of two deceased members of the Beltran-Leyva cartel.  Abarca himself is a member of the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). Prosecutors have also indicted the town’s public safety director.  The couple and the public safety director fled Iguala and are now in hiding. Prosecutors allege that the mayor told local police to stop the protest march. Prosecutors based the charges on interrogations of local police and members of a local criminal gang, Guerreros Unidos (The United Warriors).  Investigators believe that Guerreros Unidos has gang members who used to belong to the Beltran-Leyva cartel. Prosecutors said that so far 17 gang members and 36 Iguala police officers have been arrested. Federal investigators have concluded that police officers stopped buses carrying the students home. The students were forced into police vans, were driven to a remote location and then murdered. One source claimed the bodies were burned. At least two Guerreros Unidos gunmen have confessed to killing some of the students. Federal police have now taken control of the Iguala police department and soldiers have also deployed in the area. Legislators in Mexico City have asked that the president order federal forces to take control of the entire Guerrero state government. This can be done but is politically tricky; would entail dissolving the current state government.

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