day of the dead mexico
A man arranges candles into the number 43 on an altar assembled by local residents to mark the Day of the Dead, outside the Municipal Palace in Iguala, in the state of Guerrero, Mexico Reuters

Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto has launched a nationwide anti-crime plan to tackle corruption and prevent politicians from collaborating with local gangs.

The announcement was made two months after 43 students from the town of Iguala, Guerrero State, were abducted during a protest they had staged, with fears they were killed by cartel groups aided by corrupt policemen.

Shortly after the students were abducted, the police issued an arrest warrant for the then Iguala mayor, Jose Luis Abarca, and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda, both fugitives.

The couple - arrested in Mexico City in November - was suspected of having ordered the local police to abduct the students and hand them over to local gang Guerreros Unidos, as it was reportedly feared that their protest could disrupt an event held by Pineda.

The mass abduction prompted thousands of people to take to the streets to urge the government to step up the efforts to find the students.

In recent demonstrations, some of which have turned violent, people also called for Nieto to step down.

Weeks after the case of the missing students made headlines worldwide, Nieto announced a new plan which would allow the Congress to dissolve local governments infiltrated by drug gangs.

The reforms, to be formally presented in the first week of December, would also change how offences are dealt with at federal, state and local levels as at present, some local police refuse to act to prevent federal crimes like drug trafficking.

"Mexico cannot go on like this," Nieto was quoted by news agency AP as saying. "After Iguala, Mexico must change."

The plan would focus first on four of Mexico's most troubled states — Guerrero, Michoacan, Jalisco and Tamaulipas, where drug cartels often engage in violent fights, abduct and execute dozens of people.

On Thursday (27 November) at least 11 burned bodies were discovered in the Mexican city of Chilapa, Guerrero state.

The corpses were found in an area renowned for gang violence and a banner hung nearby, which read "Here is your garbage" - suggesting the dead men had been part of the "Ardillos" gang and were killed by a rival group.