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Ayotzinapa: Judge invalidates the indictments against José Luis Abarca and his wife

Authorities say Pineda Villa’s brothers are the founding members of Guerreros Unidos

Ayotzinapa: Judge invalidates the indictments against José Luis Abarca and his wife
Prosecutors claim José Luis Abarca and María de los Ángeles Pineda Villa had ties to local cartel Guerreros Unidos - Photo: Alejandrino González/AP
English 25/08/2020 13:08 Newsroom Mexico City Diana Lastiri, Arturo de Dios Palma Actualizada 13:15
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A federal judge invalidated the indictment against José Luis Abarca, the former Iguala mayor allegedly involved in the enforced disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students in 2014; however, the judge did not order his release, instead, he will issue his pre-trial statement again. Abarca was indicted over organized crime and money laundering charges. 

The judge granted Abarca a writ of amparo because he considered the former politician’s right to a proper defense was violated by authorities when they didn’t notify Abarca who were the witnesses who testified against him. 
 
The judge decided to reinstate the case against Abarca over the purchase of 31 properties worth MXN 8,300,000. 
 
The federal judge ordered another judge to invalidate the indictment against José Luis Abarca. Moreover, the judge must reveal the names of two witnesses who testified against the former mayor. The judge will later resolve Abarca’s legal situation and decide whether or not he will be indicted. 
 
Recommended: Ayotzinapa: the timeline of a tragedy

Meanwhile, the Attorney General’s Office contested the federal judge’s verdict. Abarca’s case was submitted to the Fourth Collegiate Tribunal in Legal Matters in the State of Mexico.
 
José Luis Abarca is currently in prison, where he will await the final verdict. 
 
EL UNIVERSAL previously reported that Abarca’s wife, María de los Ángeles Pineda Villa, was granted a writ of amparo that was later confirmed by the same federal judge who granted an amparo to Abarca.
 
Magistrates confirmed the indictment against Pineda Villa must be invalidated and her case reinstated. María de los Ángeles Pineda will have to testify over the organized crime charges she faces. Nevertheless, authorities won’t release Pineda Villa from jail. 
 
Abarca and Pineda are facing criminal charges in connection with their involvement in the Ayotzinapa case. However, prosecutors haven’t been able to prove their involvement and press charges. 
 
Recommended: Ayotzinapa: Experts identify the remains of missing student

Authorities sent Pineda to a federal prison in Morelos. Meanwhile, Abarca was sent to the maximum-security prison known as “El Altiplano.”
 
Prosecutors claim José Luis Abarca and María de los Ángeles Pineda Villa had ties to local cartel Guerreros Unidos, the criminal group who allegedly abducted and murdered the 43 Ayotzinapa students. Authorities say Pineda Villa’s brothers are the founding members of Guerreros Unidos.
 
On August 19, relatives and friends prevented agents from the Attorney General’s Office from arresting Roselia Abarca Velázquez and Cirilo Lara Brito, José Luis Abarca’s sister, and brother-in-law. The couple faces organized crime, money laundering, and fraud accusations. 

A group of agents from the Criminal Investigation Agency (AIC) arrived at a private school owned by Abarca Velázquez and Lara Brito. When authorities attempted to enforce an arrest warrant against the couple, their family, friends, school staff, and neighbors prevented the arrest. 

A video of the clash between the family and the agents was shared on social media. A group of people attacked the AIC agents and National Guard members. 

José Luis Abarca & María de los Ángeles Pineda

Former Iguala mayor José Luis Abarca went into hiding days after the enforced disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students. 

In October 2014, then-Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam said that Iguala mayor José Luis Abarca and his wife ordered the attack against the students.

Authorities arrested José Luis Abarca and María de los Angeles de Pineda in Mexico City in November 2014. Abarca was sent to a maximum-security prison.

A month later, Murillo Karam said former Iguala mayor José Luis Abarca and his wife were being investigated for enforced disappearance.

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