Angel Aguirre Riverohe, the governor of Mexico’s gang-ridden Guerrero state where 43 trainee teachers disappeared last month has stepped down after weeks of protests calling for his resignation.
The students were last seen being taken away in police cars after a teachers’ rights protest.
Several mass graves have since been found in hills close to the town where the students went missing, sparking the protests.
Investigators say they have yet to identify the remains of any of the trainee teachers.
“I’ve decided to present my resignation to the parliament,” said Riverohe at a news conference. “It will be this Congress who will elect the new Guerrero [resident] to lead this crisis in the following months.”
The students were allegedly handed over to a drugs cartel.
Criminal gangs pose a major security challenge to the president.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said: “Today our priority is to find those young students from Ayotzinapa school and their location. After meeting with the governor I will meet with the security cabinet. Recently they’ve been holding crisis meetings every day.”
The mayor of the Iguala city where the students went missing is on the run.
Authorities have accused him, his wife and the police chief of being involved in the students’ disappearances.