Mexico

In Australia, the life of a teaching student comes with certain inconveniences, but not acute physical danger at the hands of law enforcement, political authorities and organised crime. Sadly, that is not the case in Mexico. On the night of September 26-27 last year, in the southern state of Guerrero, police attacked a bus convoy taking a group of students from their normales rurales (rural teaching college) in Ayotzinapa to the city of Iguala.
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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.
The head of the Austrian Forensic Medicine laboratory considers extremely difficult for more identifications to come out of the remains found in the Cocula dump, thus the investigation remains uncertain. Even after the identification of one of the 43 missing Ayotzinapa Teacher’s Training School, the possibilities of identifying any other are extremely small due to the terrible conditions of the remains found in a dump in Cocula, on the southern state of Guerrero, according to the opinion of head specialist from the Innsbruck Legal medicine Institute, Richard Scheithauer.
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.
Thousands of workers, campesinos, members of civil society, and students marched in Mexico City on November 20 to demand justice for the missing 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teachers' school. They were joined by the family members of the missing students, who have been traveling in three solidarity convoys throughout the country to build support for their cause.
A national strike for November 20 to protest the government’s ineffective investigation in the case of 43 missing Ayotzinapa students was announced on November 12 by the Mexican Inter-university Students Assembly, chaired by the Ayotzinapa Teacher Training School “Isidro Burgos”. The assembly, attended by students from 79 schools, decided to support the national strike summoned by the parents of the missing students.
Bolivian President Evo Morales asked the Mexican government on November 10 to clarify the case of the 43 students of the Ayotzinapa teachers college. The students were forcibly disappeared in September after an attack by local police, in which six people were also killed. “I wish to express our solidarity with the families of the 43 students,” Morales said during a press conference. “We regret what has happened in Mexico.”
Protests continue to grip Mexico over the fate of 43 students from Ayotzinapawho were abducted -- in police vehvilces according to eyewitnesses -- Guerrerro state on September 26. Mexico's Attorney-General Jesus Murillo Karam says three detained “drug traffickers” had confessed to killing the students -- including burnig them alive. Dozens of police were arrested over allegations they had had students over to a drug cartel. Iguala mayor Jose Luis Abarca, accused of ordering the attacks, resigned on October 24.
The protests over the 43 missing students in Iguala, who are now said to have been assassinated and burned, have continued in Mexico City. Hundreds of Mexicans protested overnight on November 8 in Mexico capital. They expressed theri outrage in relation to statements given the day before by the head of the attorney-general's Office, Jesus Murillo Karam, who said the 43 students were executed and burned in Ayotzinapa.
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.
As 35 busloads of teacher-training students from Michoacan headed for Guerrero state to join increasingly militant protests for justice, students from major universities in Mexico City called a two-day strike on October 13. The protests were in response to the disappearance of dozens of students.
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As images of children huddled in masses on immigrant detention centre floors along the US-Mexico border make headlines worldwide, the US government is responding with more of the same failed policies that have generated economic and social devastation in Central America spurring migration in the first place. More than 52,000 children have been apprehended at the US border since October 2last year, most of them from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, and many of them unaccompanied. At least 60,000 minors are expected to cross into the country this year.
Workers across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico united in an Inter-Continental Day of Action on January 31 to stop a massive new trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership — commonly referred to as “NAFTA on steroids.” In the U.S., the immediate fight is to block a bill that would grant the president “fast track” authority to sign off on the TPP. Defeating fast track would likely stop the TPP. Fast track is designed to swiftly pass trade deals, circumventing the standard Congressional procedures of hearings, debates, and resolutions.
The tide of history sometimes surges out of the most unexpected places. Twenty years ago, the Zapatista indigenous uprising broke out in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. Zapatismo, limiting itself to operating in Chiapas, may be an incomplete solution to the national rule of the capitalist class, but the Zapatista rising in 1994 was a big advance in Latin America’s liberation struggle.

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