New protest in Mexico missing students case

A group of protesters set fire to the wooden door of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's ceremonial palace in Mexico City's historic city center, denouncing the apparent massacre of 43 trainee teachers.

New protest in Mexico missing students case

Thousands of protesters gathered in Mexico City on Saturday, a day after three detainees confessed to killing at least 40 missing students from a teaching college.

Demonstrators showed up for a flash mob at the city’s main square. Protesters lay down on the ground several times and demanded justice for the relatives of the 43 male students who disappeared Sept. 26 in Iguala, about 120 miles southwest of Mexico City.

Several protesters wrote on placards, “Enough, I’m tired,” in reference to the words uttered by Mexico’s Attorney General Jesus Murillo following his press conference Friday that revealed the confessions.

“The attorney general said that he was tired of this investigation. But it is his job to investigate. How could he be tired when his wage is about $15,000 per month?” said Yomali Lopez, a student from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. The average monthly wage in the country is around $800.

By Saturday night the crowd grew to thousands, with demonstrators marching with torches in their hands. Protesters expressed anger at the administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has claimed a reduction in crime since taking office in 2012. Chants of “Go away, Pena,” amongst others could be heard.

Pena Nieto has been criticized for keeping a scheduled international tour that begins in China on Sunday, while facing the most important crisis of his presidency.

“Mexico is not angry, but furious,” said Angelica Garcia, one of the protesters. “Unfortunately, it took the disappearances to wake up the country. But it is the moment for the country to change,” he said.

Near the end of the demonstration, a small group of activists tried to set fire to the doors of the national palace but the flames were quickly extinguished.

The group, carrying torches, broke away from what had been a mostly peaceful protest demanding justice for the students.

Some protesters wrote "Alive" on the palace’s doors but were met with resistance from other demonstrators with a demand of “No violence.”

Police put out the flames and enforced fencing designed to keep the protesters away from the National Palace, which was built for Hernan Cortes after the Spanish conquest and now houses Mexico's finance ministry.

Pena Nieto lives in a presidential residence across town, and was not in the palace at the time.

Tens of thousands of people in recent weeks have taken to the streets of Mexico City and those of the southwestern state of Guerrero where the students were abducted to decry the government's handling of the case in recent weeks.

The case is the toughest challenge yet to face Pena Nieto, who took office two years ago vowing to restore order in Mexico, where about 100,000 people have died in violence linked to organized crime since 2007.

At least two people were injured in Saturday night's protest, local television reported. Riot police cleared the square before midnight and an ambulance was assisting the injured people.

The attorney general said Friday that three detainees in the case of the 43 missing students confessed to killing and burning the bodies of the students.

Relatives of the students said they rejected everything that the authorities had to say and added they will trust only the conclusions made by Argentinian forensics experts who are also investigating the case. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Kasım 2014, 12:01

Muhammed Öylek