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October 27, 2014

In Iguala, Where 43 Students Were Abducted (And Likely Murdered), City Hall Is Burned by Protesters; Governor of Province Resigns

A few weeks ago a a mass grave was discovered in Iguala, Mexico, a town to the south of Mexico City, long alleged to be controlled by the "narcos," from the police level up to the mayor's office.

Forty three students had been abducted weeks before; now dozens of bodies -- some burned, some dismembered -- were found in a mass grave in the hills outside the town.

The most astonishing allegation is that the students were arrested by police for fear they'd protest the mayor and his wife, and then delivered over to narco gangs for execution.

They are now fugitives.

A Mexican prosecutor now says what people have been suspecting: that the mayor and his wife ordered the attack on the students.

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.

...

He said that on the night of Sept. 26, as the students were heading toward Iguala in several buses they had commandeered, the order to stop them came over the local police radios — and that is was given by "A-5," the code name for Iguala's mayor.

Local police intercepted the student's buses and started shooting, killing six people and rounding up the 43 students. According to the attorney general, the students were taken to another police force and then transported to the outskirts of Iguala. Those orders, he said, came from the head of the Guerreros Unidos, whom federal authorities captured last week.

Unrest is growing. City Hall was burned (which, frankly, I get), and local businesses were vandalized and looted, as shown in this video.

I don't know if the businesses looted were located in the shopping center owned by the Abarcas. I'm not suggesting that makes it justified to loot a third-party's store; I'm just noting the possibility of that being the motive.

Another video of the rioting/burning is at McClatchy.

The arson attack on the city hall in Iguala marked the fourth time this month that protesters have burned buildings, a rising tide of violence dogging President Enrique Pena Nieto as the dramatic disappearances drag on unresolved.

On Tuesday, some 200 teachers set fire to the regional office of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution in the state capital, Chilpancingo. The party, which controls the state government, is reeling amid opposition calls for its governor, Angel Aguirre, to resign. The fire gutted part of the building. Protesters also overturned a car and spray-painted graffiti, including the slogan, "We want them back alive."

Before dawn on Monday, masked protesters set fire to an office of a state social assistance program, Guerrero Cumple, in Chilpancingo, burning computers and filing cabinets and leaving a charred mess.

The most damage was caused Oct. 14, when masked protesters rampaged through state government installations in Chilpancingo, setting several buildings on fire.

Angel Aguirre has now in fact resigned, for what that's worth.

The governor, Ángel Aguirre of Guerrero State, agreed to leave his post after leaders of his party, the Party of the Democratic Revolution, publicly said they would otherwise try to push him out in order to quell growing civil unrest in the state.

...

Mr. Aguirre, 58, who began his six-year term in April 2011, has not been implicated in the students’ disappearance. But as the head of the party and chief executive in one of the country’s most violent states, he faced mounting criticism over failing to rein in corrupt politicians and the police. The mayor of Iguala and his wife, who are now fugitives, had strong ties to a gang, the authorities have said, and ordered a police force infiltrated by the gang to detain the students, who were then turned over to the gang and have not been seen since.

Governors, politically powerful in Mexico’s federal system and legally protected in most cases from prosecution, rarely step down or face investigation while in office....

Analysts said his resignation would do little to change a political landscape dominated by cronyism, favors and infiltration by organized crime.


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posted by Ace at 04:05 PM

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