Embattled Mexican Attorney General Steps Down

Jesús Murillo Karam faced a wave of criticism at home and abroad for how the attorney general’s office handled the investigation of the 43 missing students.

Mexico's Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam.

Marco Ugarte / AP

Mexico's embattled attorney general, who was heavily criticized for his handling of the investigation of 43 missing students, has stepped down and taken on a new cabinet-level job.

President Enrique Peña Nieto swore in Jesús Murillo Karam on Friday as the new minister of rural, territorial and urban development.

Murillo Karam famously ended a press conference about the missing students with the phrase “Ya me canse,” meaning “I'm tired,” which become a rallying cry for protesters on the ground and online.

Only the remains of one student have been identified by a forensic team, while the remaining 42 others were declared dead by Mexican authorities.

At the end of his office's investigation, Murillo Karam said corrupt police on the orders of a local mayor kidnapped the 43 students from a rural teachers college in Ayotzinapa in September. The all-male students were then handed over to a drug gang that killed them and burned their bodies.

The case of the missing students dealt a heavy blow to Peña Nieto's approval ratings, setting a new low for any Mexican leader in two decades.

El Diario reported that Peña Nieto thanked the former attorney general for his dedication and responsibility.

The Mexican attorney general's office “has been an area which has had to take on a complex and challenging task, particularly at the events in Iguala,” Peña Nieto said.

LINK: Independent Experts Question Mexican Government’s Investigation Into Missing Students