Agents from Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office have confirmed that Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda, have been arrested in Mexico City.
Their capture was confirmed on Twitter by José Ramon Salinas, the official spokesman of the federal police.
The fugitive mayor and his wife, suspected of being the masterminds behind the disappearance of 43 students on the night of September 26, were netted in a pre-dawn operation in the Mexico City neighborhood of Iztapalapa, a poor district located in the eastern side of the capital.
According to Mexican newspaper El Universal, Federal Policemen in coordination with CISEN (Mexico’s intelligence organ) raided a small and sparsely furnished house where the two Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) party politicians were hiding. A law enforcement source told the paper that Abarca and his wife where renting the house, and hinted that the landlady might have tipped off police about their whereabouts.
Abarca and his wife, known as ‘Lady Iguala,’ are accused by the federal government of ordering the municipal police to turn over the students to Guerreros Unidos, a criminal gang that originated from the Beltran-Leyva Cartel.
Eleven mass graves and 38 bodies have been found in Guerrero since the federal government intervened to find the missing students. Another mass grave was found in Cocula, 30 minutes from Iguala; authorities and forensics experts have not been able to confirm if any of the remains are those of the missing students.