The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 78/No. 43      December 1, 2014

Protests of cop abduction
of students sweep Mexico

Protests have swept hundreds of cities and towns across Mexico since Sept. 26 when police attacked and “disappeared” 43 students in Iguala, in Guerrero state. The determined actions have also inspired demonstrations in cities around the U.S. and elsewhere.

The attack on the students from the Rural Teachers’ College in Ayotzinapa has struck a nerve in Mexico where more than 22,000 people have been “disappeared” in the last eight years amid political repression by the police, army, government officials and the private armies of the narcotics industry.

Police and masked gunmen carried out three attacks on Sept. 26, killing six people and forcing dozens into police vehicles. The students, who had traveled to Iguala to prepare for an Oct. 2 demonstration commemorating the 1968 massacre in Mexico City of student protesters, have not been seen since.

Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo said Nov. 7 that the bodies of the students had been found, burned beyond recognition by thugs from the Guerreros Unidos drug gang on the orders of Iguala Mayor José Luis Abarca. The mayor, his wife, and more than 70 people, including 36 municipal cops and alleged members of the gang, were eventually arrested under pressure of growing protests.

But according to an Argentine forensic team working with the students’ families, none of the remains tested so far matches any of the missing students.

Three bus caravans of students and parents set out Nov. 13 from Ayotzinapa to crisscross the country. They were demanding the resignation of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, a more aggressive search and prosecution of those responsible for the attacks. They will converge for a nationwide demonstration in Mexico City Nov. 20. Other actions are expected that day in the country, the U.S. and elsewhere.

“There is no respect for human or labor rights in México,” José Humberto Montes, international relations secretary for the Union of Mexican Electrical Workers, said by phone from Mexico City Nov. 15. “The social movements that fight for democratic freedoms and social rights are victims of a permanent campaign of criminalization by the government.”

The protest movement has rattled the main capitalist parties. Iguala Mayor Abarca was a leader of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), Mexico’s third largest party. Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) is the dominant party in Congress.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Oct. 28 called the reports about events in Guerrero “worrisome,” but the Obama administration has avoided comments on Peña Nieto’s government, which has led economic “reforms” that open Mexico to deeper exploitation by U.S. capital.  
Front page (for this issue) | Home | Text-version home