The attorney general’s office in the Mexican state of Guerrero announced Thursday they have formally charged the former mayor of Iguala in connection with the deaths and disappearance of dozens of students in September.
Jose Luis Abarca was charged with "aggravated homicide against six people" as well as with the "attempted murder of others," prosecutors said in a statement on their website announcing the formal detention order.
The 43 students, who belonged to a teacher training college, disappeared Sept. 26 following a confrontation with local police in which six students died.
Three suspected drug gang members are said to have confessed to the kidnapping and subsequent killing of the 43 students, allegedly telling authorities that the students were handed over to them by local police on the orders of the mayor and his wife.
The mayor and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda, were detained on Nov. 4 after absconding from the town following the students' disappearance. Abarca allegedly had the students rounded up to prevent them from protesting a speech by his wife.
Guerrero's attorney general's office says criminal proceedings were initiated against Abarca on Oct. 17, when he was also formally stripped of his office.
Mexican authorities announced last week they believe they have discovered the charred remains of at least some of the 43 students.