Mexican Police Shoots at Students Once Again

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Source: Ruptura Colectiva / The Dawn News / September 27, 2016.

The Ayotzinapa massacre wasn’t enough for the Mexican state to stop violent acts of repression against students of country’s rural schools who protest against the dismantling of public education.

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Photo credit: Ruptura Colectiva (RC)

Today, at around 2 pm, 30 patrols of the Unified Command of the Police and hundreds of grenadiers from Michoacán intercepted trucks that transported the students of the Indigenous Normal School of Michoacan and shot at them with high-calibre firearms.

The students belong to the Organization of Official Normal Schools of the State of Michoacán, who were handing out leaflets to passers by, where they demanded freedom for eight of their comrades, who were detained last August 15. They also demanded the State to hire for the 1,200 job posts that still haven’t been assigned to teachers that graduate from Normal schools, and they informed on the negative effects of the educational reform that the state is promoting and on the struggle to reveal the truth about the 43 students that were repressed by the police and disappeared in Ayotzinapa.

When the police appeared and began to act with hostility against them, a confrontation arose and the police started to shoot at the trucks. “We were in shock”, normalists said. “We didn’t know what to do because the shots were aimed right at us”. When descending from the trucks they tried to escape through the woods and high grasses but they were followed and brutally beaten. There are over 30 wounded due to police brutality, 34 women and 15 men have been detained and transported to maximum-security prisons. Most of them are between 17 and 23 years old. Seven of them are girls under 18.

Right after August 15, a similar situation occurred when dozens of normalists were detained in the Western Highway in Michoacán, with a high amount of violence. Carlos Gómez Arrieta, from State Secretary of Public Security, affirmed that this was because the students “acted violently and sequestered transport units that had been previously confiscated”. He also affirmed that “no shots were made at the students while they ran away” but eyewitnesses have affirmed that the opposite was true.

There are major concerns about the safety of the students that were detained. Organizations are demanding that their safety is guaranteed and that the wounded students are treated. They also demand the immediate liberation of all the detained students.

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