Mexico: Mayor's arrest is ordered as anger grows over missing students

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Mexico: Mayor's arrest is ordered as anger grows over missing students

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The plight of 43 students missing for nearly a month in Mexico’s southwest has mobilised thousands in the capital.

Protesters gathered around the Angel of Independence monument in Mexico City’s main square, in the latest of a series of demonstrations nationwide.

The growing anger now seems to have been heard.

Arrest warrants have been issued for a local mayor and his wife in the southwestern state of Guerrero where the students disappeared on September 26.

It is claimed the trainee teachers were handed over to a drugs gang after being detained following deadly clashes with police.

A suspected gang leader and police officers have been arrested but Mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda, are on the run. Pineda allegedly has links to local criminals.

It is claimed the couple wanted to stop students disrupting an event she was hosting.

Mexico’s Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam told reporters that according to those already in custody, the order to confront the students was given by radio from the central police station and they were told it came from A5, the code used to identify the mayor.

In Iguala where the students went missing, protesters stormed the town hall, smashing windows, ransacking offices and setting the building on fire.

It comes as authorities continue to investigate mass graves discovered nearby. Initial tests show none of the bodies found belong to the students.

The case has overshadowed President Enrique Pena Nieto’s bid to restore order in Mexico and shift the focus away from endemic gang violence and onto economic growth in Latin America’s No. 2 economy. Drug violence exploded during the rule of his predecessor, Felipe Calderon, and has claimed about 100,000 lives since 2007.