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Guerrero, Mexico Gov. Angel Aguirre Resigns After Requests Following Protests Over 43 Missing University Students

First Posted: Oct 25, 2014 02:06 PM EDT
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Gov. Angel Aguirre, the governor of the state of Guerrero in Mexico, where 43 university students disappeared a month ago, has resigned as local citizens and students continue protesting. Aguirre's replacement will be appointed by the state's legislature.

Aguirre announced his resignation this week after losing his party's support and following an increase in protests calling for his resignation, according to The New York Times. Aguirre began his six-year term as governor in 2011.

The former governor also served as the head of the Party of the Democratic Revolution in Guerrero. However, according to CNN Mexico, PRD members in the state and around the nation began pulling their support for the embattled governor.

"I think the time has come," PRD senator Armando Rios Piter said, "for the governor to make the decision to ask (for leave), to prevent anarchy, to prevent total ungovernability."

The head of the PDR-affiliated Patria Digna political group, Carlos Sotelo, also called for Aguirre to step down. Leaders of Mexico's other political parties, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and National Action Party (PAN), also called for Aguirre to ask for a leave of absence.

CNN reports that Aguirre decided to ask the state congress to accept his leave of absence; however, he defended his actions against accusations that he did not act fast enough when the 43 students went missing.

"From the very first hours" of the disappearance, the governor said, "The state government took immediate measures to detain police officers who were directly involved and other individuals who were identified as participants in these criminal acts with the purpose of locating the missing students and pay the necessary attention to the victims."

According to Mexican law, state governors have immunity from criminal cases and are very hard to remove from office. A governor needs to ask the state congress to leave his position.

Aguirre resigned after some of the largest protests in recent Mexican history. According to Global Post, tens of thousands of protesters went to Mexico City's central square to protest. Similar protests happened around the country.

In late September, 43 university students went missing in the Guerrero town of Iguala, launching a manhunt that has led to the arrest of corrupt police officers and gang members.

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