Published On: Wed, Nov 5th, 2014

Meet the couple that ruled over Iguala, Guerrero

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Many say that María de los Ángeles, wife of José Luis Abarca, former mayor of Iguala, took the main government decisions. Three of her brothers were drug traffickers.

José Luis Abarca and María de los Ángeles Pineda Villa ruled for two years over Iguala. According to the inhabitants of Iguala, the “Imperial Couple” (as they have been nicknamed in Mexican Media),  ruled “as a couple”. Yesterday morning they were arrested in Iztapalapa, Mexico City, for their involvement in the disappearance of 43 students of Ayotzinapa teachers training college and the death of six people on September 26.

José Luis Abarca was born in Arcelia, Guerrero. His family made a living selling hats and wedding dresses. Abarca got into the gold business and in the last 10 years he became a businessman along with his wife. Despite not having political experience, he join the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), won the election, and became the Mayor of the city of Iguala in June 2012.

Iguala is a historic city located 102 km (63 miles) from the state capital Chilpancingo in the Mexican state of Guerrero. It stands on Federal Highway 95 about 130 km (81 miles) Southwest of Mexico City. Iguala is the municipal seat of the municipality of the same name, located in the north-central part of the state. The city had a 2010 census population of 140,363, and the municipality 128,444. The area of the municipality is 567.1 km2 (219.0 square miles). The city is the third largest community in the state of Guerrero, after Acapulco and Chilpancingo.

Many say that María de los Ángeles, who comes from a family with links to drug traffickers, took the main government decisions.

"The Imperial Couple" back in 2012 (Photo:

“The Imperial Couple” back in 2013 (Photo:

In September 2009 the Public Security Department announced that two operators of the Beltrán Leyva cartel in Morelos and Guerrero had been killed. One of them was Alberto or Antonio Pineda Villa, better known as “El Borrado”. The other one was called Mario. Both were brothers of Ángeles. The third brother was arrested in the same year in Tamaulipas. He was sent to prison in Matamoros and was later on released.

Abarca has been accused of nepotism. A local newspaper said that the former mayor hired several of his relatives as municipal employees. All of them together received a total of $ 300,000 pesos (22,088 dollars) per month in salaries.

The former mayor was also accused of homicide. Sofía Lorena Mendoza Martínez says that Abarca was the mastermind behind the murder of her husband, Arturo Hernández Cardona, social leader and fellow member of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD).

In November 2013 Nicolás Mendoza, who was kidnapped along with Arturo Hernández, declared that before shooting him in cold blood, Abarca told Hernández: “It will be my pleasure to kill you.”

As its been said, José Luis Abarca and María de los Ángeles Pineda Villa were arrested Tuesday November 4th, in Iztapalapa, Mexico City, and taken to the Assistant Attorney General’s Office for Special Investigations on Organized Crime (SEIDO).



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Displaying 6 Comments
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  1. Helene Smith says:

    I hope that these two entitled morons spend the rest of their miserable little lives behind bars.

    • TigreBlanco says:

      I’d prefer a public execution.

      • efese says:

        I agree with the comment above. Public execution should take place. It is disgusting how many lives are lost without real motives. His wife has a conniving face, cold, arrogant. I hope one day they never have to go through grief like the type many Mexicans have to endure without justice being served.

  2. arturo says:

    Execution would be too harmless for them. They should be placed in chains on the plaza de armas of their city, day and night and with no food and let them starve to death!

  3. Your Name... says:

    I am outraged and thank God news media published what happened. I will never ever go back to Mexico. The government surely knows what has gone on for decades but done nothing. They all need to be tortured publicly and cut off their extremities and bleed to death. All 75 involved and any others. No one should live especially the master minds.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is just an example of how crule and unfortunately powerful greed is. How powerful corruption is. And it also shows how vulnerable the political system is in these cities and towns are. The couple thought they could just get rid of a problem and everything would be back to normal. This is sad cause it isn’t the first time students are massacred just cause they wanted their voices heard and a change. But the media is even more powerful today than what it was in the 60s withThe Tlatelolco massacre. Look it up, humm… Sound kind familiar doesn’t it? But this news with the 43 students went international right away. It’s a war what they live in Guerrero if you want justice. It’s danger if you want to stand up to do something better if it involves the wrong people. Because some of the government is involved with the cartel. All what they’re family wanted was answer, and find they’re love ones. I’m glad the couple are behind bars. They need to respond for every death. And this is just the start of something big. Guerrero and other states want voices heard! And it’s not fair lives get taken away when they want to stand for what they want. When they want to stand for what they believe in.

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