It was just another day at school for students in Reynosa yesterday: taking selfies as a gun battle raged on the street outside.
Students at the CeTis 131 Technical High School in the Tamaulipas border city took selfies and filmed videos in which loud gunshots can be heard ringing out.
Such is the frequency of violent clashes in Reynosa that some students appear to have become desensitized to the violence and as a consequence have lost all fear that a stray bullet could cross their path.
“Our third shootout together. And the ones that are still to come,” reads the caption of a photograph posted to social media in which two students appear.
In one video that has gone viral, three male students leave their school and walk along a street seemingly unperturbed by the nearby gunfight.
“This is normal in Reynosa, walking along like this, nothing happens to you,” one student remarks before joking that they’re protected because they have bulletproof vests and helmets, which evidently, they do not.
Another video shows students leaving their classroom to go out to the schoolyard so that their phones will be able to better pick up the sound of the gunshots, while in yet more footage students are seen lying on the floor, presumably as they have been instructed to do.
In light of the carefree attitude demonstrated by some students and the seriousness of the situation — there have been three shootouts in recent days in Reynosa that left four armed men dead and five people injured — the city’s education chief urged students and teachers to not expose themselves to situations of heightened risk.
“Teachers have instructions about what they should do in these kinds of cases, the main thing is to protect students and not allow them to leave until everything is calm . . .” Georgina Aparicio said.
She added that authorities will continue to drive home the message to students that the security situation in Reynosa is not something that can be taken lightly or considered a game.
In response to the recent violence, the Tamaulipas Public Security Secretariat is currently conducting a “safe schools” operation in Reynosa that involves state police maintaining a presence at and around schools when classes start and finish.