Morelia, Mexico, Nov 14 (EFE).- Police in the western Mexican state of Michoacan fired shots into the air Monday to break a protest by indigenous people in the municipality of Nahuatzen.
The confrontation occurred around 12:50 pm in Turicuaro, a Purepecha indigenous community, according to a preliminary report of from the state’s Public Safety Department to which EFE had access.
Police responded to a report that residents and students from the Indigenous Normal School of Michoacan (ENIM), a teacher-training institution, were holding five commercial vehicles to press for the releases of three comrades arrested on Oct. 28 after setting a truck on fire in the nearby Purepecha community of Paracho.
When the police arrived, the protesters pelted them with sticks and stones.
The officers responded by discharging their weapons into the air, prompting the protesters to run for cover, with some taking refuge in homes.
Authorities did not report any casualties, though one of the sequestered vehicles, a truck carrying canisters of cooking gas, was struck by bullets.
Police arrested an ENIM graduate identified as Narciso Domingo Bautista Arredondo.
Three current ENIM students, Cecilia Santiago Lorenzo, Jose Luis Sebastian Estrada and Miguel Gonzalez Sebastian, are in custody for burning a vehicle during a previous protest.
Militants have set 14 vehicles ablaze in less than a month as part of a campaign to force the state government to commit to filing teaching posts with ENIM graduates.
Michoacan’s governor, Alfredo Ramirez Bedolla, insists that teachers must be hired through a system of competitive evaluation.