Thousands of people continue to protest in Mexico City after the disappearance and assumed killings of 43 students from Raul Isidro Burgos College in Ayotzinapa.
Public outrage at the lack of government investigation and the young adults expressing their anger with the violence and corruption in the country has led to weeks of protesting and clashes with police. Though the government officials claim the students to have been killed by a drug gang based in Guerrero, many protesters and protest supporters refuse to believe the claim.The days of protests have resulted in a number of government buildings being burned down, roads have been blocked, and media stations taken over by protesters.
According to Foreignpolicy.com, On Novembert 4, authorities finally arrested the former mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda, alleged head of the local drug cartel and alleged masterminds of the attack on the students. These are also the two that the normalistas were intending to protest against on the day of the disappearance.
On Nov. 7, Mexico’s Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam held a press conference to discuss testimony from three members of Guerreros Unidos, a local drug gang accused of killing the students. The testimonies describe how the gang murdered and burned the students and disposed of their bodies. Despite this, the government has produced no DNA evidence to prove these claims and the families of those missing have continued to protest and believe that their children are alive.
Today, 20 students have set oil containers on fire and threw rocks smashing windows of a bank and a gas station in a business area located outside of Mexico’s National Autonomous University after a peaceful demonstration had ended inside.
What started it all?
Back in September, a buses of students from Raul Isidro Burgos College was surrounded by police forces. The police then proceeded to open fire on the buses, killing 6 and leaving 43 individuals missing. Those on the buses were known as normalistas, who protested against the government and advocated for the public. Vice news has a detailed timeline of the events that September day using first hand accounts from survivors.
Revolution in the Making
The bubbling tension between college students and the government over the years are because of what students see as an unjust government system that entangles itself with cartels and illegal activity. The shooting and abduction of college students has become the final straw for many citizens, both young and old. This conveys a deep chasm between public and the government. Specifically, the young educated of these colleges have been the ones to actively protest for years and a clash between the two sides was bound to occur. The disappearance of these young menwas teh catalyst to an already brewing storm.
The protests have led to some arrests and sheds a sharp light on the Mexican government. Only time will tell how long these acts of defiance will continue to escalate and in that time, who knows what other injustices within the government they will uncover.
What Do You Think?…
Are these protests doing more harm than good or are they just the type of fire needed to make changes in the government that the public is demanding? Do you see the protests dying down in coming days or only escalating further?
feature image: Ezequiel Flores