An army base in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, was attacked Tuesday by students from a teachers’ college formerly attended by 43 young men who were abducted and presumably killed in 2014.
Students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College threw stones, firecrackers and Molotov cocktails at and into the military base and pushed a driverless delivery truck into its main gate, forcing it open. They subsequently attempted to set the truck on fire but were unsuccessful.
The students also graffitied the base’s exterior walls with messages asserting that September 26 – the day on which the 43 Ayotzinapa students disappeared almost eight years ago – will not be forgotten and that Mexico’s army was responsible for the crime.
A retired army general is among 20 military commanders and soldiers wanted in connection with the abduction and presumed murder of the students, who disappeared in the city of Iguala after buses on which they were traveling were intercepted by municipal police. The mystery of what happened to those 43 students after that point has never been resolved to many Mexicans’ satisfaction despite the previous federal government’s issuing an official “historical truth” in 2015 of what supposedly happened to the Ayotzinapa 43, as they are frequently known.
Tuesday’s attack followed a protest outside the military facility, during which hundreds of students and parents of the Ayotzinapa 43 called for justice. Soldiers didn’t interrupt the protest, nor did they respond to the subsequent attack.
The federal Attorney General’s Office said on August 19 – the day former attorney general Jesús Murillo Karam was arrested in connection with the students’ disappearance – that a federal judge had issued a total of 83 arrest warrants for army personnel, police, government officials and members of the Guerreros Unidos crime gang, but the protesters complained that the warrants haven’t been executed.
Blanca Nava, the mother of one of the missing students, told the newspaper La Jornada that not one of the 83 suspects has been arrested.
Several events commemorating the 43 students will be held in the days leading up to the eighth anniversary of what Deputy Interior Minister Alejandro Encinas described last month as a “state crime.”
A march will be held in Mexico City on September 26, eight years to the day after the abduction of the students, a crime that triggered mass protests calling for the resignation of Enrique Peña Nieto, who was president from 2012 to 2018.