This crazy story out of Mexico reads like the plot to a spaghetti western.

Gang-affiliated police raid a Mexican town, and while the mayor manages to escape 43 college students go missing–for a month now. There is suspicion that the mayor ordered the kidnapping of the students because he didn’t want them protesting a speech of his wife’s.

To top things off, the Mexican government, now searching “blindly” for the missing students, was extremely sluggish to get the investigation moving at the beginning.

From Yahoo News:

In Mexico, searching ‘blindly’ for 43 missing students

Mexican authorities have found no trace of 43 college students since their disappearance more than a month ago, laying bare a series of missteps in a case that has infuriated the country.

In the first days after the students vanished following a police attack in the town of Iguala on September 26, Guerrero state authorities initially said the students were maybe just hiding.

Meanwhile, Iguala’s mayor Jose Luis Abarca had ample time to escape, skipping town two days after the assault along with his wife and the municipal police chief.

The mayor is now accused of ordering the gang-linked local police force to round up the students out of fear they would interrupt a speech by his wife.

Authorities say the corrupt officers handed the 43 students to their allies in the Guerreros Unidos drug gang.

It took nine days after the attack for the attorney general’s office to take over the case from state prosecutors.

The mass disappearance has belied President Enrique Pena Nieto’s assurances that violence was down in Mexico thanks to better coordination between police agencies.

“There was a delay, an initial negligence by the federal government,” Alejandro Hope, a security expert and former Mexican intelligence officer, told AFP