Mexico: Teachers demand arrested protesters be released

November 30, 2014

Teachers from Mexico's National Autonomous University (UNAM) demanded on November 27 that the country's authorities release the 11 people arrested during the clashes between protesters and police after a march over the 43 missing Ayotzinapa students.

“Human rights organizations, press, and society have showed the brutality and violence of the police operation and the arbitrary detentions,” the teachers told reporters in a press conference, according to Mexican newspaper La Jornada.

“We do not like this way to drive the repressive forces, especially when officials provoke violations of human rights and freedom of expression.”

On the night of September 26-27, the local police of Iguala, Guerrero, shot at several buses carrying the Ayotzinapa students, killing three of them and another three civilians. Then, according to authorities, the police “arrested” 43 students and handed them to the local gang known as United Warriors.

Since then, Mexico has been hit by sustained protests demanding justice for the students and their families.

The demonstrators were arrested on November 20 during clashes with Mexican police after a march for the missing students. Three of those arrested were students from UNAM.

They have been transferred to high security prison in the states of Veracruz and Nayarit, and are being accused of illegal association and rioting.

The lawyers of the jailed protesters said that they have enough evidence to prove their clients are innocent, and that Mexican authorities have failed to gather any evidence against them.

Meanwhile, Mexican filmmakers, actors, students, script writers, and teachers demanded the liberation of Luis Carlos Pichardo, who works in cinematic and theatrical productions. He was arrested along with the protesters on November 20.

In a letter to Mexican authorities, the artists also demanded that the rest of the jailed demonstrators were freed.

“As part of the cinematographic community we express our deep rejection to the repression by the Mexican government during the legal protests over the missing of the 43 students,” they wrote.

Among the letter's signers were Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuaron, directors Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Jorge Fons, and many other important Mexican cinema personalities.

[Reprinted from TeleSUR English.]

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