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Former Mayor of Iguala to Face Kidnapping & Murder Charges for 43 Missing Students

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Former Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca Velazquez, who has been linked to the disappearance of 43 education students in September, will remain in custody and face a criminal trial, Mexican judicial officials said.

A federal criminal court in Toluca, a city in Mexico state, will try Abarca on organized crime, kidnapping and murder charges, the Federal Judiciary Council, or CJF, said.

The court issued the order as part of proceedings initiated by a court in Matamoros, a border city in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas.

Abarca is being held at the Altiplano federal penitentiary in Mexico state, which surrounds the Federal District and forms part of the Mexico City metropolitan area.

Abarca served as mayor of Iguala, a city in the southern state of Guerrero.

The politician and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda Villa, were arrested by the Federal Police on Nov. 4 in Mexico City.

Pineda is being held in preventive detention so prosecutors can gather more evidence in the case.

The couple fled from their house on Sept. 30, four days after Iguala municipal police officers opened fire on students from a rural teachers college.

Six people died, 25 were wounded and 43 students disappeared in the incident.

The 43 students, the majority of them ages 18 to 21, were detained by police and handed over to the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel, which killed them and burned the bodies to eliminate all traces of the victims, officials said, citing statements by suspects in the case.

The students’ disappearance has sparked protests across Mexico.

Published in Latino Daily News


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