Outrage across Mexico continues to grow as frantic search efforts are ongoing to find 43 students taken by Mexican municipal police alleged to be controlled by drug cartels in the city of Iguala. Tens of thousands are participating in protests across M …
Outrage across Mexico continues to grow as frantic search efforts are ongoing to find 43 students taken by Mexican municipal police alleged to be controlled by drug cartels in the city of Iguala.
Tens of thousands are participating in protests across Mexico to call for the return of 43 students following their disappearance on September 26, while hundreds of local vigilantes are undertaking a door-to-door search.
The students vanished after police and alleged gang members opened fire on their buses in the southern city of Iguala, located in the violence-plagued state of Guerrero. Six students were killed, while dozens of others were taken away in patrol cars to undisclosed locations.
Meanwhile, fears that many of the ‘disappeared’ students have already been killed are increasing as forensic tests have begun on dozens of bodies found in a mass grave over the weekend near the town.
In a letter sent to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on October 7, The American Teachers Federation (AFT) President Randi Weingarten condemned the violence directed toward the students and called on the Mexican government to increase its search efforts and to ensure those demonstrating have the right to assembly and free expression.
“We stand with those who have been demonstrating across Mexico demanding accountability for the murders and the disappearances,” said Weingarten. “The involvement of police and security officials in this brutal attack is incomprehensible and destabilizes civil society and the protection of the rule of law which is fundamental to democratic governance.”
The students, from a radical teacher college in Ayotzinapa in Guerrero State, had finished taking part in demonstrations to protest what they viewed as discriminatory hiring practices for teachers when clashes with police began. Ayotzinapa has a history of political activism and clashes with the security services.
However, accounts between students and police differ as to what happened next. Students say that police raided the buses unprovoked, while the police claim that they took action after the students seized the buses.
– Based on reporting by Education International
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