Guerrero: Extrajudicial execution of students from the Rural Normal of Ayotzinapan

Photo @Voces por la paz

On 12 December, during a peaceful protest carried out at an exit from the Chilpancingo-Acapulco highway which has been promoted by Governor Ángel Aguirre, two students were murdered by municipal, state, and federal police.  The victims are teacher-students Gabriel Echeverría de Jesús, 20 years of age, and Jorge Alexis Herrera Pino, 21 years of age.  Another youth died from gunshot wounds.  Furthermore there are the undetermined number of injured persons and 24 who have been arrested.  The students had been demanding that classes at their teaching-training college resume, given that they had been suspended for over a month now.  The Federation of Socialist Campesino Students of Mexico (FECSM) energetically condemned the murder of the three students in the Rural Normal “Isidro Burgos” in Ayotzinapa.  The events have provoked rejection throughout the country, both from human-rights organizations as from the political class.  In a 13 December press-release, civil-society organizations demand “the resignation of Ramón Almonte Borja, Secretary of Public Society of the state of Guerrero, so that there could be had an exhaustive and effective investigation into the aggression suffered by the students.”

In light of these acts, human-rights organizations have expressed the urgency of an impartial, effective, and timely investigation into the police violence. They have demanded punishment for those responsible.  The United Nations has demanded that Mexico carry out a serious, competent, and impartial investigation into the murder of the students, expressing its “concern for the excessive and violent use of force” against youth.  The UN also called on the Mexican State to open spaces for respectful dialogue with the student community and to guarantee their rights to free expression, free assembly, and social protest, in addition to liberty and personal security.

On 14 December, close to 60 persons from social and student movements from UAM, UNAM, and UACM mobilized at the Representation of Guerrero in Mexico City to repudiate the killing of the students.  Protestors found the state and federal governments to be responsible.  “It does not matter to us if it was the police of Guerrero or those of the PFP; there is no difference between them […],” yelled one youth while others drew human figures on the black ground.  “We would like to call the attention of the people; we want them to know that the government kills students; human life means nothing to it.”

Fernando Mancilla Fuentes, president of the National Confederation of Mexican Students (Conem) and director the Colimense Federation of Students (FEC), announced that on 19 December there would be held a grand national mobilization in light of the murder of the students.  He affirmed that this national movement would “support all the proposals and demands of the students of Guerrero,” and that it would demand the clarification of the crime.

Moreover, he asserted that use of the term “collateral damage” is a habitual manner of justifying the arbitrary acts of power throughout the whole country, where there exists no brake on violence.  For this reason protestors will demand a resolution of the case and application of the law against the police who carried out the killings.

For more information (in Spanish):

Policías matan a tres estudiantes durante desalojo en la autopista (La Jornada, 12 December)

Ejecución Extrajudicial de Estudiantes de la Normal Rural de Ayotzinapan (Voces por la paz, 13 December)

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