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“First Lady of Murder” Arrested for Disappearance of 43 Students
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First Lady of Murder, world news, Mexico, Iguala

Summary: Maria de los Angeles Pineda was running for mayor of Iguala in Mexico on the day that 43 students went missing.

Maria de los Angeles Pineda was running for mayor of Iguala in Mexico on the day that 43 students went missing. She was campaigning that day for the office in an effort to succeed her husband in the post.


That day was the last time Pineda and her husband were seen until earlier this week, according to The Washington Post. The couple was arrested for being the masterminds of the abduction of those 43 students.

They reportedly colluded with a cartel as part of the plan.

Pineda has now been labeled as “The First Lady of Murder,” “The First Lady of Narcotics” and the “Queen of Iguala.”

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“Official statements that the 38 bodies found so far in 10 makeshift mass graves are not the students have exacerbated rather than calmed public anger, as now the other question is, ‘Who are these trussed up, tortured, headless or charred corpses?’” Mexican poet Homero Aridjis wrote in an essay. “Will there be an investigation to find the perpetrators? Or will time be allowed to pass until public indignation subsides, and these cases will join the roughly 98 percent of unsolved homicides in the country that have been swept under a rug as high as the Pico de Orizaba, Mexico’s tallest mountain?”

Pineda’s husband, Jose Luis Abarca, was also arrested this week in relation to the case. The couple was found squatting in an abandoned house in Iztapalapa, which is 120 miles north of Iguala in Guerrero state.

“The Pinedas, as they were known, controlled the drug trafficking in Guerrero, and partly in Morelos, in the name of the Sinaloa Cartel,” Deutsche Welle reported. “One of the Pineda brothers, Salomon, has been identified as the head of a cocaine distribution network that allegedly started in Colombia and Venezuela and reached the city of Atlanta, Georgia.”

On September 26, a group of student teachers was set to attend a campaign event for Pineda in order to disrupt it.

Multiple reports quote Pineda as saying, “Teach them a lesson.” Other reports said that her family’s cartel worked with local police to confront the students. There was a violent fight that ensued, with all of the men disappearing.

Will Pineda and her husband face true justice in Mexico? Use our poll to share your thoughts.

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Image credit: The Daily Beast


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