Mexico: Students take to streets over deaths, disappearances

October 26, 2014

Thousands of students protested in the Mexican city of Guadalajara on October 22 to demand justice and a clear investigation into the death of an engineering student who was arrested by municipal police, only to be found dead hours later.

The corpse of Ricardo Jesus Esparza Villegas was found on the morning of October 19 in an alley outside a private home in the historic city of Guanajuato. According to information provided by the municipal government, the student was killed “by a sharp blow to the skull”.

However extra information from the authorities has yet to be made public.

The 23-year-old from the state of Jalisco, travelled with friends to participate in the International Cervantes Festival in Guanajuato. On the night of October 18, witnesses and friends say municipal police detained him in what they characterised as a bid to “extort” the youth.

“He was arrested in the square, the officers checked his pants pockets and backpack,” a witness said. “Afterward they took him by the arm and walked him down the alley called Hinojo.”

The witnesses claim they went to the police detention facilities to acquire more information on his detention, but were told by the authorities that Villegas was not there.

Students from the Federation of University Students in Guadalajara organised the march to demand justice. In a statement, the organisers declared: “for what happened in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero and the state of impunity that prevails in the country, we will make our own ruling on the case of Villegas.”

The University of Guadalajara also condemned the incident through a statement, demanding that “the mayor of Guanajuato and the government of that entity, make an immediate investigation to clear the facts. Similarly we call on the government of the State of Jalisco to immediatly intervene and participate with the investigation so as to punish those responsible for this terrible crime.”

This incident comes amid widespread anger throughout the country and a growing distrust of the authorities and security forces for presumed extrajudicial murders and targeting of youth.

In late September, municipal police killed 6 and forcibly disappeared 43 students in the Guerrero State town of Iguala, while elements of the Mexican Army are accused of executing 22 detained youth in the Mexico State town of Tlatlaya in June.

[Reprinted from TeleSUR English.]

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