Friday, June 21, 2024

200 Ayotzinapa students attack seat of government in Guerrero

A month after one of their classmates was shot dead by state police, students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College carried out an attack on the Government Palace complex in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, that caused a fire on the second floor of one building.

At around 8:30 a.m. on Monday, a group of some 200 students arrived at the government offices in the state capital and launched an attack with firecrackers and Molotov cocktails.

Firefighters put out a fire at the Montaña building of the state government complex in Chilpancingo on Monday
The students launched firecrackers and Molotov cocktails at the Montaña building, causing a fire. (Dassaev Téllez/Cuartoscuro)

The assault caused a large fire in the Montaña building, which stands adjacent to the Government Palace.

The students also set vehicles alight, including 12 in the parking lot of the Government Palace, located south of downtown Chilpancingo. The attack continued for around 25 minutes, provoking fear and panic among state government employees.

“We ran out when the firecrackers started going off,” said one bureaucrat.

The students reportedly fled the scene on buses headed to their school, located in the adjoining municipality of Tixtla. Local firefighters extinguished the flames that engulfed the government building and vehicles. A Government Palace flag-raising ceremony scheduled for 9 a.m. that Governor Evelyn Salgado planned to attend was canceled.

The attack came after Yanqui Kothan Gómez Peralta was killed by state police on March 7 while traveling in a vehicle in Chilpancingo with two other students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College, the school attended by 43 young men who were abducted and presumably killed in September 2014.

Guerrero authorities initially claimed that the police came under fire, but President Andrés Manuel López Obrador subsequently said that the students “did not shoot,” and therefore “there was an abuse of authority.”

Calcinated cars in Chilpancingo
The students also burned cars parked in the parking lot. (Dassaev Téllez/Cuartoscuro)

Ayotzinapa students are demanding justice for their slain classmate, who was aged 23 at the time of his death, and have rejected state government appointments that have been made, or allegedly made, since his alleged murder.

Two of three police officers accused of involvement in the killing of Gómez are in custody awaiting trial, but the third officer escaped state government facilities on March 11 — allegedly with the assistance of authorities. The fugitive suspect, identified as David “N,” is accused of firing the shots that killed the trainee teacher.

“The murderer of my son remains on the loose because he was released to hide the truth,” the victim’s mother Lilia Vianey Gómez said Monday.

Ayotzinapa students have protested on numerous occasions since the death of Gómez, and have attacked other state government offices in recent weeks.

A day before the alleged murder, students protesting the abduction and presumed murder of the 43 Ayotzinapa students in 2014 used a pickup truck to break open wooden doors at the National Palace in Mexico City while López Obrador spoke at a press conference inside the historic building.

The Guerrero government responds to Monday’s attack

The state government condemned “the violent actions” that occurred and asserted that it has attended to “all the demands” presented by the Ayotzinapa students.

Francisco Rodríguez Cisneros talks to an Ayotzinapa student
Following the murder, Francisco Rodríguez Cisneros, at center in glasses, was appointed deputy minister of political and social development to lead the dialogue with Normalistas. (Revista del sur/Facebook)

It said that former state interior minister Ludwig Marcial Reynoso Núñez — who resigned after Gómez’s death amid claims he was involved in the formulation of a fabricated version of events — has not been appointed to another government position and stressed that the ex-official has “no kind of work or professional link” to state authorities or Governor Salgado.

In a statement, the government also said that Francisco Rodríguez Cisneros was appointed deputy minister of political and social development to “maintain the path of understanding and dialogue with social groups.”

“… The state government has contributed at all times to the clarification of the events on March 7,” it added.

“We reiterate our call for any demand or dissent to be set out via officially established channels and in a peaceful way, maintaining at all times dialogue and understanding as the mechanism for the resolution of any social conflict.”

With reports from Reforma, El País, El Financiero and La Jornada 

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