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Mexican Cartel Leader Kills Himself; 43 Abducted Students Remain Missing


The latest round of horrifying violence remains unresolved.

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Benjamín Mondragón, the leader of the Mexican drug cartel Guerrero Unidos, which is believed to be responsible for kidnapping 43 college freshman in September, committed suicide as he was about to be arrested by federal police Tuesday.

Mondragón’s car was surrounded by cops in the state of Morelos, just north of Guerrero, and he shot himself in the head “when he saw that there was no escape,” reports Gonzalo Ponce, a spokesperson for the Mexican government. Later a mass grave containing 28 bodies was uncovered—but early tests indicate that none of the bodies belonged to the abducted college students, says attorney general Jesús Murillo Karam.

Mondragón’s gang was believed to be involved in trafficking marijuana and heroin from Mexico to Chicago with assistance from local government and law enforcement across Guerrero, which is considered one of Mexico’s most dangerous states.

The gang allegedly coordinated with local police on the night of September 26, when the students were abducted in the city of Iguala, Guerrero. According to the state prosecutor, Inky Blanco, the students were in the area to participate in a political demonstration when police opened fire on the crowd, killing six and wounding several others. The students were detained by police then turned over to the cartel and were likely ordered to be killed shortly after, speculates Blanco.

Subsequently, 36 police officers from Iguala and surrounding towns have been arrested after admitting to taking part in the abduction of the students, stated Karam in a press release. The mayor of Iguala has since fled the city after several mass graves were found by federal police. He is suspected of working with the Guerrero Unidos cartel.