Mayor and Wife Suspected in Missing Students Case Arrested in Mexico City

Ciudad de México. 8 de octubre de 2014. Foto de  Débora Poo Soto, Demotix.

“They were taken alive, we want them back alive!” Mexico City. October 8, 2014. Photo by
Débora Poo Soto, Demotix.

José Luis Abarca, former mayor of Iguala and his wife María de los Ángeles Pineda were arrested by federal forces in Mexico City, the capital of Mexico, in the early hours of Tuesday, November 4, 2014.

Both have been identified by the government and the media as the alleged masterminds behind  the September 26 ambush by police and criminal gangs on students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural School in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, which killed six, injured 20 and left 43 missing.

Global Voices has been providing in-depth coverage of Ayotzinapa's 43 missing students. 

Abarca and Pineda make up the so-called “imperial couple” and are active members of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), self-proclaimed as a party with a left-wing ideology. Social media has dubbed Pineda #LadyIguala for the eccentricity and despotism that drove her and her husband before the student disappearances. The city of Iguala is close to Ayotzinapa, the base of the school the students belonged to. 

Meanwhile, 39 days have passed since the students from Ayotzinapa were illegally deprived of freedom and their whereabouts unknown. The Argentinian Forensic Anthropology team, in coordination with Mexican authorities, has undertaken work in the many mass graves that have been found near Iguala, in the state of Guerrero, located in the southwestern part of the country. To date, the federal government has supported the version of the story that the human remains found in the graves do not correspond to the missing students, but fails to clarify the origins of the dozens of bodies lying there. 

Several Twitter users have commented on the arrest of Abarca and his wife. José Adolfo Murat M. said:

And so begins the political police story. That which Abarca and his wife declare will allow for the deepening of research lines for Ayotzinapa.

Playing on Abarca's last name and the Spanish saying “El que mucho abarca, poco aprieta” (“He who pushes a lot encompasses little”), Marilú Herrera took the opportunity to reminisce about the frequent cases in which offenders are released by the judiciary, including Florence Cassez

He who pushes a lot encompasses little… hopefully they integrate the proceedings well and that some judge doesn't let them go free on some technicality.

Other users like Jan_Herzog have recalled that a few days ago it was mentioned that Abarca had been arrested, but this was later denied: 

Is the Iztapalapa set up done? They had Abarca 10 days ago! RT urgently! 

Anaid Villanueva shared the following message:

The PRD demands that General Attorney's Office applies the full weight of the law against Abarca.

On his part, demian coco noted that there was an overriding interest lying in the media frenzy over the arrest of the “imperial couple”: returning the 43 disappeared students alive: 

They arrested Abarca but the most important thing is still missing, the appearance of the 43 students. They took them alive, we want them back alive. 

With the arrest of the alleged perpetrators, the prosecutor will have to join the preliminary investigation and, where appropriate, remand it to the judiciary so that it can give the criminal process the formal go-ahead. 


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