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Mexico AG, Who Investigated 43 Students Disappearance, To Leave

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Image: Attorney General Jesus Murillo listens during a news conference at the attorney general's office in Mexico City
Attorney General Jesus Murillo listens during a news conference at the attorney general's office in Mexico City January 27, 2015. The 43 Mexican students who disappeared four months ago were murdered on the orders of a drug cartel who mistook them for members of a rival gang, the government said on Tuesday, finally confirming the deaths of the trainee teachers. The disappearance of the students on the night of Sept. 26 in the southwestern city of Iguala led to massive street protests in Mexico and international condemnation of its security situation. It embarrassed President Enrique Pena Nieto and plunged his administration into its biggest crisis. REUTERS/Bernardo Montoya (MEXICO - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CRIME LAW)Reuters

Mexico Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam, who set off protests and triggered outrage on Twitter over his investigation and handling of the abduction and apparent massacre of 43 students, is stepping down, the news agency Reuters reported Friday.

Murillo will be moved to the ministry of agrarian and urban development, Reuters reported, citing a senior government official who requested anonymity.

The students' disappearance set off protests and Murillo stirred further controversy when he said "Ya me cansé" (I've had enough) at a news conference last year, in an attempt to halt questions over his statement that the student teachers' bodies had apparently been incinerated. The words were mocked on Twitter, including tweets about being tired of corruption in Mexico's government with the tag #yamecanse. The phrase also became a rallying cry for protests.

Murillo is one of the most experienced politicians in President Enrique Peña Nieto's government and will be replaced by Arely Gomez, a senator in the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) who took leave of her post on Feb. 26, the official said.

The disappearance of the 43 trainee teachers in the southwestern city of Iguala in late September has created the biggest crisis of Peña Nieto's administration. The government said the students were abducted by corrupt police, then handed over to members of a local drug gang, who incinerated the bodies and threw the remains into a river.

Family members and the Mexican public have been skeptical of the government's investigation and have refused to accept the official reports, asking for DNA tests of the students' remains for verification. In January, the government declared all 43 were dead, citing 39 confessions and forensic evidence. The mayor of Iguala and his wife are among those arrested. Only some of the students' remains have been verified thus far.

_ This report includes material from Reuters

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