A truck blocks the tracks in Michoacán during a protest by teacher training students on Tuesday. A truck blocks the tracks in Michoacán during a protest by teacher training students on Tuesday.

2 students wounded after bus-stealing spree in Michoacán

Students from 8 teacher training colleges stole buses, erected blockades

At least two students from the Tiripetío Rural Normal School in Michoacán were wounded yesterday after police opened fire on a bus they had commandeered. 

In a video purported to show the incident, someone can be heard urging the bus driver to go faster before the sound of gunshots begins. “They are shooting at us!” the person says. 

The bus was one of several stolen since Monday by students from at least eight different normal schools, or teacher training colleges, to attend a protest against enrollment limits.

Michoacán’s Public Safety Ministry said one bus blasted through a police checkpoint as it neared the city of Uruapan on Tuesday, prompting authorities to give chase.

On its social networks, the Escuela Normal de Tiripetío posted bloody photos of the injured students, decried the excessive use of force and blamed the attacks on the state and federal governments.

Some reports say that in addition to refusing to stop at the checkpoint, the speeding bus also tried to ram other vehicles and police officers.

Authorities placed blame on the students for their actions, saying they acted in the interest of public safety. They announced a full investigation into the incident.

Normal schools are intended to offer teacher training to poor and indigenous students to help strengthen rural communities. They are also fertile ground for political activism among students, and stealing buses and blocking trains are popular means of protest.

Prior to yesterday’s incident, students allegedly stole a delivery truck and used it block the railway tracks near Tiripetío and stole more vehicles to block the Siglo XXI highway between the state capital, Morelia, and the port city of Lázaro Cárdenas.

In 2014, 43 students from the Ayotzinapa normal school were kidnapped in Iguala, Guerrero, and are presumed dead.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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