Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto is making his first visit to Iguala, the southern Mexico city where 43 students from a rural teachers college disappeared in September 2014 after being taken by police.

The city is known as the cradle of the Mexican flag and Pena Nieto is visiting on flag day. He was present at a ceremony where a massive flag was raised atop a hill overlooking the city on Wednesday.

Following the students' disappearance, Iguala became a gathering point for more than 200 other families from the region who had also had family members disappear in recent years.

Despite a heavy military and federal police presence killings and disappearances have continued around Iguala.