On May 18th, the Chiapas State Attorney General’s Office detained 95 students from the Mactumactza Normal Rural School when they were taking over a booth to demand that the new entry of professional examination be in person and not virtual in the state. The arrests came after the students staged a series of protests and clashes with police in the state capital in the past two weeks.
Five hundred riot police participated in the operation and now the 74 women and 21 men arrested will be investigated for alleged “acts of vandalism.” In addition, El Heraldo de Chiapas reports that the police seized 1,464 fireworks, 280 Molotov cocktails, a “hijacked” bus from Omnibus Cristobal Colon (OCC), a truck and a van.
Meanwhile, a complaint was filed with the State Human Rights Commission (ECHR) as well as a request for precautionary measures for forced disappearance, given that the actual number of detained persons was 125, “according to the FGE bulletin there are 95 detainees, that is, 20 people are missing without locating, but as long as they did not have the lists of the detainees, and see the state of their health, there were 125 forcibly disappeared”, said Diego Cadenas Gordillo, director of the K´uuntik Human Rights Center. It is also reported that the detainees have been exposed to sexual harassment by the police.
Before the arrests on May 19th, some 500 student teachers, teachers and parents held a march ending with a rally in front of the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) to demand the freedom of the 95 young people and the appearance alive of the missing. Through a press conference they asked the state government not to criminalize social protest and to respect the human rights of each and every one of the detainees.
For more information in Spanish:
Normalistas denuncian desaparición forzada y tocamientos a mujeres a la CEDH (Chiapas paralelo, 19 de mayo de 2021)
Decomisan arsenal a normalistas de la Mactumatzá (El Heraldo de Chiapas, 19 de mayo de 2021)
Familias, magisterio y normalistas exigen la liberación de los 95 estudiantes(Chiapasparalelo, 19 de mayo de 2021)
Docentes exigen liberación de 95 alumnos de Normal Rural Mactumactzá (La Jornada, 18 de mayo de 2021)
Fiscalía de Chiapas detiene a 95 normalistas en operativo; estudiantes denuncian represión y abuso sexual (Animal Político, 19 de mayo de 2021)
For more information from SIPAZ: