The disappearance of five university students in Jalisco this week sparked a massive protest yesterday and the offering of a reward by the state government.
More than 300,000 people, including students, faculty and support staff at the University of Guadalajara (UdeG), staged a two-hour strike yesterday, and protests took place at two other educational institutions in the state.
The first to disappear were three film students at the Audiovisual Media University (CAAV), who were kidnapped by armed men in Tonalá on Monday after their car broke down.
The kidnapping was reported by friends who were traveling in a second vehicle. One told the newspaper Mural that the men, who claimed to be from the state Attorney General’s office (FGE), ordered the occupants of both vehicles to get out and lie on the ground.
The kidnappers left with three of the students — Javier Salomón Aceves Gastélum, 25, Jesús Daniel Díaz García, 20, and Marco Francisco García Ávalos, 20.
Early Wednesday, Susana Carolina Gutiérrez Flores, a 19-year-old psychology student at the University of Guadalajara, left her home in Talpita to attend class, but she never arrived.
Then later the same day, César Ulises Arellano Camacho, a 20-year-old medical student at the same university, went missing after he left an IMSS clinic in the municipality of Tala.
Late on Thursday Gutiérrez called her parents from Tlaquepaque, where she was found unharmed. She has given a statement to authorities but details of her disappearance have not been revealed.
Governor Jorge Aristóteles Sandoval said authorities have a “solid line of investigation” in the case of the other four, but offered no further information.
The state announced yesterday it would pay a 1-million-peso reward (almost US $54,000) for information regarding their whereabouts.
The reward was posted on the second day of protests by academics and students in the Guadalajara metropolitan area.
A larger protest is scheduled for 4:30pm today with a march in downtown Guadalajara to the Attorney General’s offices.
Video posted yesterday by officials in Jalisco.