The local Congress of the southern Mexico state of Guerrero voted Sunday to appoint the academic Rogelio Ortega as interim governor of that state where last month 43 students disappeared and six people were killed in an attack that has implicated local police and politicians in the city of Iguala.
Ortega who is the director of Guerrero's Autonomous University will act as governor through next year after Angel Aguirre, from the left-leaning Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), stepped aside Thursday following protesters demands that authorities locate the whereabouts of the missing students, reunite them with their families, and bring those responsible for so much pain and suffering to justice.
Before local lawmakers, Ortega pledged to find the young students of the Ayotzinapa teachers' training college and to deliver justice.
The incident shocked the country and sparked demonstrations across Mexico. Fears were sparked that the students may have been slaughtered when nine mass graves were found outside of the town, however authorities say they were likely other victims from a different crime.
The events in Ayotzinapa have highlighted Mexico's disturbing problems with corruption and violence, as well as the links between authorities and organized crime. Dozens of police officers were arrested following declarations by the leader of a local criminal organization the United Warriors (Guerreros Unidos), that local police had handed over some of the students to the group and ordered their executions.
Mexican authorities also have issued an arrest warrant for Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca, accusing him of ordering the police raid that resulted in the disappearance of the students. According to reports, the mayor and his wife are currently on the run.
According to official figures, since December 2012, at least 1,000 people die in Mexico every month due to violence linked to drug cartels. Authorities have also acknowledged the devastating scale of violence since the launch of the drug war in 2006, saying 26,000 people have gone missing in connection with drug-related violence in the last eight year.