Officials said that a drug gang implicated in the disappearance of 43 students in a southern city essentially ran the town, paying the mayor hundreds of thousands of dollars a month out of its profits from making opium paste to fuel the U.S. heroin market.
The statements painted the fullest picture yet of the control that is exercised by gangs over a broad swath of Mexico’s hot lands in Guerrero state. The Guerreros Unidos cartel’s deep connections with local officials in the city of Iguala came to a head Sept. 26, 2014 when the mayor ordered municipal police to detain protesting students, who were then turned over to the drug gang.
Since then, Mexican authorities have mounted wide-ranging searches for the students, spurred by increasingly violent demonstrations that included the burning of Iguala’s city hall by protesters. The case also has drawn international attention, and people in several Latin American nations staged vigils for the missing young people during the day.
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Opening text from the AP Big Story, Mexico: Mayor linked to deadly attack on students, by E. Eduardo Castillo and Mark Stevenson.
Lead Image Caption: Mexican navy marines and officers belonging to the Attorney General’s Office guard the area where new clandestine mass graves were found near the town of La Joya, on the ouskisrts of Iguala, Mexico, Thursday Oct. 9, 2014. Two weeks after 43 students disappeared in a confrontation with police in rural southern Mexico, Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam announced that suspects had led investigators to four new mass graves near the southern city of Iguala where authorities unearthed 28 badly burned bodies last weekend. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)
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