Mexico: Guerrero students occupy radio stations

Dozens of students occupied four radio stations in Chilpancingo, capital of the southwestern Mexican state of Guerrero, for about an hour on Jan. 3 in an attempt to publicize their positions on an ongoing conflict at the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers’ College in the nearby village of Ayotzinapa. The conflict intensified when two students were shot dead on Dec. 12 as state and federal police attempted to remove some 500 protesters blocking the Mexico City-Acapulco highway to push their demands for improvements at the school. The students, along with parents and other supporters, occupied the school over the Christmas and New Year break and said they planned to maintain their mobilization after the official school opening on Jan. 3.

The student protests had started with demands for expanding the student body and for resuming classes, which had been suspended since Nov. 2 because of a dispute involving the teachers and the school administration. Following the shootings on Dec. 12, the students added a demand for the resignation of Guerrero governor Ángel Heladio Aguirre Rivero and for a thorough investigation of the police action. The students also want to know the status of the federal police agents who had been active in the operation. The media reported that 12 state police were put under restrictions after the killings but said nothing about the federal police, according to the students.

A gas station near the highway caught fire during the Dec. 12 confrontation, apparently because a Molotov cocktail thrown by a student hit a gas pump. Gonzalo Miguel Rivas Cámara, a worker at the station, was injured in the fire; he died of his injuries early on Jan. 8. (La Jornada, Mexico, Jan. 2, Jan. 4)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Jan. 8.

See our last post on Mexico.