Thursday, October 23, 2014

Guerrero Governor Ángel Aguirre quits under mounting political pressure

His support collapses under the weight of the missing students case, still with no clues at one month

*Updated Oct. 25*
Guadalajara -
Guerrero Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) Governor Ángel Aguirre Rivero announced late this afternoon that he would resign from his post within the next few days.

The move came almost a month after 43 college students were kidnapped in Iguala by teams of corrupt local police and cartel executioners on the payroll of Guerreros Unidos, a violent organized crime group which controls much of the state. The students, who disappeared Sept. 26, are believed to have been brutally murdered within hours. But their whereabouts remain unknown. Mexican A.G.: "Mary of the Angels" and her husband were "brains" behind Iguala executions, kidnappings.

Aguirre has come under increasing fire in recent days, as Mexico's three main political parties one by one turned on him. On Tuesday the center right National Action Party (PAN) opened a parliamentary inquiry in the nation's federal Senate, focused on the question of whether the left wing PRD government in Guerrero still had the state by the reins. Under a rarely used provision of Mexico's federal constitution not invoked since 1977, the Senate could have named a provisional governor whose marching orders would have been to call for new elections. Guerrero "paralyzed"; Acapulco targeted by anarchists.

By mid-week the center left Institutional Revolutionary Pary (PRI) of president Enrique Peña Nieto - originally resistant to a replacement in the volatile Pacific coast state - had joined PAN's call for a change. Eventually even many PRD senators agreed that it was time for the beleaguered Aguirre to go.

While the political drama played out in Mexico City and Chilpancingo, Guerreo's historic capital, protests and marches demanding the safe return of the students have rocked Mexico for weeks, at times accompanied by local violence and wanton destruction of government buildings. Aguirre was a frequent target of demonstrators.

The governor was vilified in Mexico City on Oct. 8

"I've already said publicly that if my separation from office will help solve the mystery of the missing students, I'd have no objection to that," the governor told a press conference. He thanked politicians who had supported him to the end, mentioning Peña Nieto by name.

Under technical rules, Aguirre must petition Guerrero's state congress for permission to surrender his post, which runs through October 2015. There is little doubt his request will be approved, however.

"The debate should not focus on whether the governor remains in office. The priority is to continue the search for the students, and to punish those responsible for their disappearance," said Aguirre.

"I want to continue serving the people and the state where I was born. I owe everything to these people, to whom I have dedicated a large part of my public life."

Oct. 25 - Early this morning the Guerrero state legislature approved Aguirre's request to resign. The 46 members, 20 of whom belong to PRD, will meet again Oct. 28 to initiate the process of selecting an interim governor, who must receive the support of at least 31 deputies.

© MGR 2014. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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