MEXICO CITY, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- The governor of Mexico's Guerrero state, where 43 university students disappeared last month, announced Thursday he will step down in order to create "a more favourable political climate to bring about the solution to the crisis."
Angel Aguirre faced mounting pressure to step down amid growing frustration over the handling of the investigation into the Sept. 26 disappearances in the town Iguala.
"I said publicly that if my removal from this position would help resolve this matter, I would not oppose," Aguirre said Thursday. "To favor a political climate that can put attention and solution on these priorities ... I've decided to solicit a leave of absence."
Authorities have so far arrested 52 people, mostly local police, in connection with the students' disappearance.
Mexico's Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam has condemned Guerrero state for its "network of complicity" between drug cartels and police departments.
On Thursday, Mexican officials issued arrest warrants for Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca and wife Maria de los Angeles Pineda, who authorities believe were the "probable masterminds" in the attack. According to the attorney general, the couple wanted to get rid of the students because they didn't want the students' protest to disrupt a planned political event hosted by Pineda in the town the same day. The couple has since disappeared and are believed to be on the run.
The search for the missing students has resulted in the discovery of 19 mass graves in the vicinity of Iguala. DNA testing confirmed that 28 bodies found in one of the mass graves were not those of the missing students. DNA testing on remains found in the other graves is ongoing.
The Government of Mexico posted a 1.5 million pesos ($110,000) reward for information leading to the location of the 43 missing college students.