Mexico’s First Lady of Murder Is on the Lam

October 30, 2014

10/29/14 The Daily Beast

H. Ayuntamiento Municipal de Iguala

Maria de los Angeles Pineda / H. Ayuntamiento Municipal de Iguala

Tuesday saw Mexican security forces digging near a garbage dump, excavating yet another unmarked grave with the hope of finally finding 43 student teachers who went missing after a protest last month amid reports of a massacre  carried out by the local police. And the hunt was continuing for the most wanted woman in Mexico, the woman said to have given the Iguala police chief a fateful order when she mistakenly imagined the students might disrupt a party she was throwing in honor of herself. “Teach them a lesson.” The order purportedly came from Maria de los Angeles Pineda Villa, wife of the mayor of Iguala and by numerous accounts the person really in charge. “The key operator,” Sidronio Casarrubias Salgado of the Guerreros Unidos gang recently said of her status in the town’s underworld.


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Andrew Selee: Bloodshed and Resilience in Mexico

October 29, 2014

10/28/14 Dallas News

The Associated Press October 22, 2014

The Associated Press October 22, 2014

A few weeks ago, 43 students at a teachers college in Mexico’s southern state of Guerrero disappeared. From what we know so far, police in the city of Iguala handed them over to a local drug gang, affiliated with the mayor, and they were almost certainly killed. Public authorities have yet to locate the graves where the students are buried, but in searching for them they have turned up several other mass graves that testify to the gruesome gangland war going on around the city over the past few years. Mexicans have reacted with understandable horror and nationwide protests against the wave of violence that still simmers in many parts of their country. The political fallout so far has included Guerrero Gov. Angel Aguirre, who effectively stepped down under pressure.

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In Mexico, a New Lead on Missing Students

October 29, 2014

10/28/14 New York Times

machine gun“For a year now, violence and crime have really spiked,” he said. “People cannot travel the roads by night because you always see gunmen on the roads, armed people just watching you.” Still, even in a town that had become inured to kidnappings, “we are not used to the police or narcos killing students,” he said. “That’s just ugly.” The disappearance has created a political dilemma for President Enrique Peña Nieto, who has sought to play down the issue of drug violence while he tries to focus on the economy. Yet the search for the students has consumed Mexican public opinion. Their disappearance has set off violent protests in the state of Guerrero, where they were arrested, and demonstrations in much of the country.

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Mexican authorities determining whether remains are of missing students

October 28, 2014

10/27/14 Los Angeles Times

pistolMexican authorities said Monday that they had discovered another hidden grave — this one by a garbage dump south of Iguala in Guerrero state — and are examining the remains to determine whether they are the bodies of 43 college students missing for a month. Atty. Gen. Jesus Murillo Karam indicated that information on the grave site came from four additional gang members who were captured over the weekend; two of them confessed to having had custody of a “large number” of the students, he said.

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Op-Ed: How our drug and gun habits tie in with the 43 missing Mexican students

October 21, 2014

10/20/14 Los Angeles Times 

Weapons seized from Mexican cartels last November

Weapons seized from Mexican Cartels.

So what of the missing college students? Searchers have found six mass graves but so far none of the bodies has been identified as any of the missing students. Think about that. Six mass graves of the slaughtered, and they still haven’t found the rightmass grave. That’s an unconscionable level of violence, one for which the United States bears some responsibility even though the killings happened more than 1,000 miles south of the border. Why? According to recent news reports, a key outlet for the Guerrero Unidos gang’s drug trafficking is Chicago. And as a study last year through the University of San Diego’s Trans-Border Institute found, a large number of the guns with which Mexico’s drug wars are being waged were trafficked in from the U.S.

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Mexico offers reward for info on missing students

October 21, 2014

10/20/14 The Washington Post 

justice - lawThe Mexican government announced rewards Monday of 1.5 million pesos ($111,000) for information on 43 students from a rural teachers’ college who have been missing since Sept. 26. The government ran full-page ads in Mexican newspapers with pictures of the 43 young men. The government also offered 1.5 million pesos for information on those who had abducted or killed the students. The government says it still does not know what happened to the students of the radical teachers’ college, after they were rounded up by local police and allegedly handed over to gunmen from a drug cartel.

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Powerful Photos Capture the Student Protests Barely Anyone Is Talking About

October 20, 2014

10/16/14 World.Mic

Duncan Wood

While the world has focused its attention on the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, there’s another student movement gaining steam on the other side of the world. The unfolding protests gripping Mexico began in the small town of Iguala, in the southwest region of Guerrero state, where the disappearance of 43 student teachers on the night of Sept. 26 has sparked outrage amid allegations of collaboration between local police and organized crime. “Iguala is just one example of the level of decay in state and municipal security institutions,” Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., told the Washington Post.

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