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Students block trains in Michoacán. Students block trains in Michoacán.

Behave yourselves, AMLO tells students as losses near 500 million pesos

Railway blockades in Michoacán halt 1,800 shipping containers

President López Obrador told teacher training college students who have blocked railways and hijacked delivery vehicles in Michoacán to behave themselves as businesses reported losses of 500 million pesos (US $26 million).

He also called for authorities to speak with the protesting normal school students and listen to their demands.

“Open a dialogue, the government should be open to dialogue, so that the situation doesn’t affect third parties and we don’t end up as the oppressors, like previous administrations,” he said.

“But at the same time, we all need to act responsibly, all of us need to behave ourselves.”

Protests by students of the Vasco de Quiroga Rural Normal School in Morelia on October 21 have spread to Uruapan and Arteaga, also located on the railway line.

Businesses report that 19 trains have been blocked on the Lázaro Cárdenas-Morelia line, halting the movement of almost 1,800 shipping containers full of products, including Pemex gasoline.

Spokesperson for the state’s Industrialists’ Association, Diana Pinette, said the auto industry has been hit hard because the stoppages have detained the delivery of 2,357 new vehicles.

Head of the association, Carlos Alberto Enríquez Barajas, requested that López Obrador crack down on the protesters.

In addition to blocking tracks, the students have also hijacked delivery vehicles, taking four more on Thursday on the Morelia-Pátzcuaro highway.

Two of the vehicles were property of the La Violeta chain of supermarkets, and were reported to have been carrying over 500,000 pesos (US $26,000) worth of groceries.

Michoacán Attorney General Adrián López said his office has received 25 complaints against the students, but ruled out using public force to remove the blockades.

The federal Attorney General’s office (FGR) has opened an investigation into the students’ activities.

Meanwhile, students of the Lázaro Cárdenas del Río Normal School in Tenería, México state, seized a toll booth on the Toluca-Atlacomulco highway to protest promised dialogues that they say never came to fruition.

Sources: Reforma (sp), Milenio (sp), Milenio (sp)

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