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New governor in Mexico state hit by student disappearances

27 october 2014, 14:13

 An academic took over as interim governor Sunday of a crime-riddled Mexican state thrust into the global spotlight by the disappearance of 43 students a month ago, AFP reports.

Angel Aguirre resigned as governor of the southern Guerrero state under massive pressure while Mexican authorities are also hunting for the fugitive mayor of Iguala city and his wife in connection with the disappearance of the trainee teachers.

Rogelio Martinez, a university administrator, was sworn in Sunday as Aguirre's replacement, the state legislature said.

There has been no sign of the male students or the mayoral couple, who allegedly have ties to a local gang that holds sway in Guerrero.

The students went missing after an attack by police and Guerreros Unidos cartel hitmen in Iguala that also left six of their classmates dead and 25 wounded on September 26.

Federal authorities accuse on-the-run mayor Jose Luis Abarca of ordering the attack to prevent the students from disturbing an event held by his wife as president of the local child protection institution.

A Guerreros Unidos leader said after his arrest that he had thought the students were part of a rival criminal gang. He therefore approved armed actions "in defense" of his territory.

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