Maria de los Angeles Pineda Villa: 5 Things to know about Mexico's first lady of murder
This woman María de los Ángeles Pineda Villa is what nightmares are all about. It has been over a month since 43 college students in the city of Guerrero, Mexico went missing. As parents and family pray and mourn for the disappeared, Mexican investigators arrested four suspects who are part of the Guerreros Unidos drug gang. They combed through a woody and mountainous dump in the Cocula section in town, but it turns out the crime is not related to a major drug pin. Reportedly, the town's first lady María de los Ángeles Pineda Villa has become the most wanted woman in Mexico for being behind the entire cruel scheme.
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The missing college students were preparing a protest in the town's plaza area, which conflicted with an honorary ceremony Villa was throwing for herself. She was afraid that the students would ruin her event so she ordered local police to "teach them a lesson."
Yes, this sounds just like a cartel telenovela, but the sad part is that it's all too real. Villa and her husband have since fled Mexico and are fugitives. Here are more details about the town's first lady.
She comes from a family of gangsters: María Pineda Villa is the sister of Marco Alberto and Marco Antonio, who were infamously part of the drug cartel named Los Beltrán Leyva. Her brothers were murdered in 2009. There are also reports that connect her to the infamous Sinaloa cartel.
She was la jefa: Three years after her brothers passed away, Villa joined the government municipal association known as the PRD along with her husband José Luis Abarca Velázquez. The first lady built a reputation for being "the real boss" in Iguala's City Hall. A government source told CNN that Villa was the one that had full control over how the city of Guerrero was managed. "She ran the city. Her husband always did what she wanted," he said.
She was hoping to become mayor in 2015: Maria's goal was to take over her husband's spot in office and was plotting her campaign for the next five months. Her Facebook was filled with political propaganda and showcased her efforts to get the elderly proper wheelchairs and hearing aids. She also fought for helping handicapped children and advocated for teachers and students.
Behind the crime: The protesting college students were finished off in a brutal way thanks to Villa's wish. According to The Daily Beast, one police officer shot a student in the head while other comrades aimed fire and killed over a dozen. It's reported that many of the students were buried alive. The police were paid off by a drug cartel leader nicknamed "Chucky," but ultimately Villa was behind the entire massacre. While the killings were taking place, Villa was dancing the night away with her husband in the plaza.
She was corrupt in more ways than one: Besides her involvement in the disappearance of the protesting college students, Villa has reportedly funneled over $40,000 in city money. The funds were used to bribe police officers and pay off gangsters to "take care of business."
Image via Aquimexico.com, María de los Ángeles Pineda Villa/Facebook