Conflicts & War

Students torch vehicles in protest of 43 missing in southern Mexico

By Francisca Meza

Chilpancingo, Mexico, Sep 27 (EFE).- Mexican students vandalized the Palace of Justice in the city of Iguala in southern Mexico’s Guerrero state and torched two vehicles at the end of a day of protests on the eighth anniversary of the disappearance of 43 students in 2014.

After participating in family-led protests in the city from which the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College students disappeared, a group of students stopped at the building from which videos from that night disappeared.

In addition to drawing graffiti and breaking the facilities’ windows, the students also threw firecrackers and explosives inside the building, and placed a soft-drink delivery truck at the gate and torched it.

Another vehicle belonging to a bread delivery company was placed at the main entrance and also torched. The students later withdrew while firefighters put out the fires.

Hundreds of protesters arrived in at least 35 private passenger buses after 3 pm.

They headed on Periférico Norte avenue to the Ciudad Industrial neighborhood, where a stele sits dedicated to student Julio César Mondragón Fontes, who was found dead the morning after the 43 students disappeared.

The students laid flowers at the site and held prayers and a rally.

The more than 1,000 protesters belonging to social and student organizations marched along the same avenue to the corner where Julio César Ramirez Nava and Daniel Solis Gallardo were killed in the attacks on the college students on the night of Sep. 26.

The demonstrators held a larger rally after laying flowers at the shrine there and praying for the missing students.

Cristina Bautista, the mother of one of the students, called on the people of Iguala to let them know if they had information about what happened that night.

Lawyer and spokesperson for the families, Vidulfo Rosales, admitted that they were concerned about the stage at which the judicial process was at due to all those who have been acquitted and the withdrawal of arrest warrants, which he described as a setback.

He also criticized President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, who he said promised the parents as a presidential candidate to do whatever it took to punish whoever was involved.

Rosales accused the current administration of adopting the same methods of discrediting and persecution as the government of former president Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018) against the people accompanying the parents.

The “historical truth,” a version offered by the Nieto government, claimed that corrupt police officers arrested the students and handed them over to the Guerreros Unidos cartel, which murdered and cremated them in a garbage dump in the southern state of Guerrero.

The Commission for Truth and Access to Justice and the López Obrador administration have rejected that version by concluding that it was not possible for the students to have been cremated there and that several students remained alive for days after their disappearance. EFE


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