Mexican officials announced yesterday the detention of Felipe Rodríguez Salgado, who they allege is the leader of the criminal group that killed 43 students and burned their bodies three months ago, the New York Times reports.

According to the Times, prosecutors say José Luis Abarca, the mayor of Iguala, ordered the city's municipal police to arrest the students and hand them over to the Guerreros Unidos, an organized-crime group of which Salgado is allegedly the de-facto leader. The previous leader, Sidronio Casarrubias Salgado, was arrested in October along with dozens of police officers who were believed to be collaborating with the "United Warriors," a splinter group from the Beltran Levya Cartel.

On Tuesday, the mayor was charged with kidnapping in connection with the students' disappearance and his wife was charged with involvement in organized crime, the Times reports. The couple, who were already facing charges relating to other murders, kidnappings, and organized crime, were captured by federal police in Mexico City in November, Reuters reports.

Almost 100 people have been detained in the investigation so far, officials said, mostly police officers from Iguala and nearby Cocula, site of the trash dump where the students' bodies were found.

Protests and demonstrations have roiled across Mexico for the past several months in reaction to the disappearance and the alleged corruption surrounding it. The governor of Guerrero state, where the students went missing, resigned in October. Across Guerrero, The Guardian reports, armed protestors are occupying town halls and calling for popular government. "It's time for the people to take power," one man said. "The government has not been able to fulfill its role – and the people are waking up."

[Photo credit: AP Images]