Guerrero police and Ayotzinapa students clash

Normalistas and police clash on the Chilpancingo-Tixtla Highway

Image of vehicle burned in the zone known as The Tunnels. Photo: José Hernández /Cuartoscuro

Image of vehicle burned in the zone known as The Tunnels. Photo: José Hernández /Cuartoscuro

 By: Sergio Ocampo Arista, Correspondent

Tixtla, Guerrero

A dozen normalistas [1] and six state police, including two women, were beaten, besides a cargo truck burned, during a confrontation that occurred this Tuesday morning on the Chilpancingo-Tixtla federal highway.

The quarrel started in the zone of Los Túneles (The Tunnels) around 8 o’clock in the morning, when the police impeded passage towards Mexico City to a convoy of 11 trucks and some private vehicles in which were traveling the parents of the 43 disappeared normalistas, the majority from the Ayotzinapa Teachers College.

The parents attempted to convince the police, but they said that they would first inspect the vehicles, which the normalistas rejected. The confrontation began at that moment; the youths set fire to a soft drink truck that they had “taken” last Monday and then put it across the highway.

The police that were in the nearby hills started to launch tear gas at the civilians, who answered with stones and large fireworks, which resulted in six state agents and a dozen students injured.

Felipe de la Cruz, spokesperson for the Ayotzinapa families, said that two students were hospitalized with head trauma.

The student José Nava denounced that the women police agents started to push some of the mothers. The students “we made a wall around the parents so that they could board the buses to the school, but the police pushed them and hit them.”

After several minutes of rumpus, the normalistas took four police they detained to the Ayotzinapa Teachers College. The government identified them as: Mariana López Bernal, Alma Delia Rivera Ávila, Lázaro Meza Gutiérrez and David Gil Vázquez. They took away their bulletproof vests, shields and leather straps there, and around 10 o’clock in the morning a student commission transported them to the Tixtla municipal police installations, where they received attention from the civil protection paramedics.

The students accused Governor Rogelio Ortega Martínez of having ordered the operation in the tunnel and nearby hills, where the police intercepted the contingents to impede them passage, first to Chilpancingo, where they would hold a meeting, although it was not specified with which instance, and afterwards to Mexico City.

Around noon, a group of normalistas moved once again to the Tixtla-Chilpancingo highway tollbooth to collect funds from the drivers and finance the parents’ travel to Mexico City.

They plan to realize a fast in the capital, to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto and march to the Zócalo; activities they announced for commemorating the first anniversary of the Iguala events, when municipal police murdered civilians, including students, and disappeared 43 normalistas from the Ayotzinapa Rural Normal.

Alluding to the demonstrations held yesterday and the attack on the offices of the State’s Attorney General last Monday, Governor Rogelio Ortega warned: “We have now reached a situation in which the limits of extreme tolerance have concluded: each action that is carried out, whoever it may be, will have to face to its legal responsibilities.”

The attorney general’s office, he said, initiated the process for obtaining arrest warrants against las personas identified in the attacks on the institution.

Community police that operate in Tixtla guarded the installations of the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Normal (teachers college), at Ayotzinapa, although the state government also installed a police checkpoint in El Molino. The state police were reinforced with one hundred members of the Federal Police and the Gendarmerie (militarized riot police).

[1] In Mexico, the word for a rural teachers college is “normal;” thus students at a “normal” are called normalistas.

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Translation: Chiapas Support Committee

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2015/09/23/politica/003n1pol

 

 

 

 

 

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