World

Mexican federal police assume control of 13 municipalities linked to cartels, missing students

  • A mother of one of 43 missing students from the Isidro Burgos rural teachers college attends a mass at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Investigators determined that 28 sets of human remains recovered from a mass grave discovered last weekend outside Iguala, in Guerrero state, were not those of any of the youths who haven't been seen since being confronted by police in that city Sept. 26. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

    A mother of one of 43 missing students from the Isidro Burgos rural teachers college attends a mass at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Investigators determined that 28 sets of human remains recovered from a mass grave discovered last weekend outside Iguala, in Guerrero state, were not those of any of the youths who haven't been seen since being confronted by police in that city Sept. 26. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)  (The Associated Press)

  • Mothers and relatives of the 43 missing students from the Isidro Burgos rural teachers college, attend a mass at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Investigators determined that 28 sets of human remains recovered from a mass grave discovered last weekend outside Iguala, in Guerrero state, were not those of any of the youths who haven't been seen since being confronted by police in that city Sept. 26. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

    Mothers and relatives of the 43 missing students from the Isidro Burgos rural teachers college, attend a mass at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Investigators determined that 28 sets of human remains recovered from a mass grave discovered last weekend outside Iguala, in Guerrero state, were not those of any of the youths who haven't been seen since being confronted by police in that city Sept. 26. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)  (The Associated Press)

  • Mothers and relatives of the 43 missing students from the Isidro Burgos rural teachers college, with posters with the images of their missing loved ones walk in to attend a mass at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Investigators determined that 28 sets of human remains recovered from a mass grave discovered last weekend outside Iguala, in Guerrero state, were not those of any of the youths who haven't been seen since being confronted by police in that city Sept. 26. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

    Mothers and relatives of the 43 missing students from the Isidro Burgos rural teachers college, with posters with the images of their missing loved ones walk in to attend a mass at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Investigators determined that 28 sets of human remains recovered from a mass grave discovered last weekend outside Iguala, in Guerrero state, were not those of any of the youths who haven't been seen since being confronted by police in that city Sept. 26. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)  (The Associated Press)

Security officials say federal police have taken control of 13 municipalities in southern Mexico where local police are suspected of possible links to organized crime and the case of 43 missing students.

National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido says that during the investigation into the disappearance of the students three weeks ago authorities found "irregularities" and "presumed links to organized crime" in the municipal police forces.

The locales all are within a 125-mile (200-kilometer) radius of Iguala, where the students from a rural teachers' college disappeared after a confrontation with police. Both the mayor and police chief of Iguala are fugitives and accused of links to the local drug cartel, Guerrero Unidos, believed to have worked with police in disappearing the students.