The mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda are known as “the imperial couple”. They remain imprisoned and accused of masterminding the disappearance of 43 Mexican students.
Meanwhile, new details about the sinister strategies of the also so-called “marriage of evil” are coming to light.
According to El Pais newspaper, Abarca, an arrogant man, boasted about not needing a bodyguard and used to drive by himself to the Government Palace in Chilpancingo, as if to prove that he had nothing to fear.
He used to ignore journalists as well, only talking to them to say that everything was fine. Or, if in fact there were problems, to assure his people that “he knew nothing.”
Protected by the cartel Guerreros Unidos
Of course, neither of them “knew nothing” about the massacre in Iguala. Although there were six deaths (five shot dead and another flayed alive), Abarca said he had not heard anything, having spent the night dancing rancheras with his wife.
At that time, the disappearance of the 43 students was kept private. When it became public, Abarca and Pineda had already escaped.
Allegedly, the couple left Iguala with help of the cartel Guerreros Unidos, where three brothers of Pineda and her own mother belong.
A year ago, her mother was kidnapped by a rival cartel that forced her to reveal the secrets of her family. At that time, to protect herself, she confessed that her son-in-law was protected by Guerreros Unidos.
This helps in explaining why the couple had such a stunning career in politics. Over the course of just a few years, they went from selling sandals and straw hats to owning 17 properties. Shortly thereafter, Abarca began his political career sponsored by Lazaro Mazon, a former mayor of Iguala charged with interceding to achieve the transfer of land on which the mall was built.
The ambition of Maria de los Angeles Pineda
Once he was proclaimed mayor, Abarca began giving way to his ambitious wife. Actually, according to many councilors, Pineda was the one who gave orders and aspired to the position of her husband.
Two of the men who faced them suspiciously disappeared from the scene: the city manager Justin Carvajal Salgado and Abarcas main political opponent, engineer Arturo Hernandez Cardona, leader of Popular Unity, who the couple threatened to kill in public.
Pineda was protected by Guerreros Unidos, which was confirmed by its leader, Sidronio Casarrubia, after being arrested last October. She has been accused of ordering the municipal police to prevent students from spoiling the act of September 26th, what was intended to be the beginning of her career as future mayor. The police attacked the students, arrested the ones that didn’t manage to escape and, according to the prosecution, put them in the hands of Guerreros Unidoss liquidators.
Allegedly, they were executed and burned in a garbage dump.
The newspaper Milenio has revealed a document that was rescued from the municipality of Iguala after the fire that destroyed the building. Allegedly, it proves the couples plan to continue to rise in politics and includes a communications strategy to position Abarca as candidate for deputy of the State of Guerrero and Pineda as his replacement as mayor of Iguala.
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Ironically, the newspaper condones increasing the presence of Pineda at events like Student Day, at graduation ceremonies in schools and her being seen joking with kids.
But plans did not go as they expected and the “imperial couple” finally escaped from Iguala. After being declared missing for a month, they were captured on November 4 in a humble house in the neighborhood of Iztapalapa in Mexico City. They were sleeping on an inflatable mattress. Of course, upon their capture, they both said they know nothing.