Three years after he was forced to step down as governor of Guerrero, Ángel Aguirre went to relaunch his political career yesterday. But not everyone was applauding his return to politics.
Instead he faced a verbal barrage from parents of the 43 students who disappeared from Iguala in September 2014, the event that triggered his departure from office.
Nine minutes after Aguirre entered an events center in the municipality of Ayutla to officially announce his candidacy as a federal deputy in next year’s elections, the onslaught began.
“Murderer!” shouted parents of the missing Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College students as they burst in to the venue to disrupt the proceedings.
A flustered Aguirre, who held office for the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) until October 2014 when he resigned over pressure related to the Iguala case, tried to placate the hostile crowd.
“Please, this is not the time or place for these types of acts, we have to talk,” he pleaded desperately, but his words fell on deaf ears.
Several of his supporters and security personnel tussled and even exchanged blows with parents of the presumably dead students, who 39 months after their sons disappeared are still demanding answers about what really happened on the fateful night of September 26, 2014.
Aguirre’s supporters, including several prominent past and present politicians, formed a human shield around the ex-governor to prevent the protesters from unleashing their ire on him physically.
But their intervention wasn’t enough to quell the disturbance and the fuming protesters continued to hurl abuse at Aguirre and unfurled a banner that read, “Ángel Aguirre, murderer, now you want a political position?”
Cristina Bautista Salvador, the mother of disappeared student Benjamín Ascencio, jumped up on the stage amid shouts of “get her down, get her down” and managed to take the microphone to give Aguirre a piece of her mind.
“Why don’t you tell the PGR [federal Attorney General’s office] everything that you know about our sons. We demand that you return them to us, you know where they are!” she shouted at the increasingly agitated ex-governor.
Bautista warned Aguirre that federal Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong would leave his position in January and that the ex-governor would no longer enjoy protection, insinuating that the current federal government had helped him avoid prosecution.
“We want you in jail,” she added.
Another mother told Aguirre, “I want you to be in my shoes so you can feel what it feels like, but someday, God is so big that you’re going to feel this.”
One PRD member accompanying Aguirre tried to match the angry tone of the protesters, employing a direct approach to try to get rid of them.
“Go away and work, you lazy assholes,” he said, but a furious father was quick to retort, “Instead of supporting criminals, you’d better get to work; let’s go to the fields so you can learn.”
Finally, Aguirre got up, approached the parents and tried to calm them down by pleading his innocence.
“I had nothing to do with it,” Aguirre said. “You know that I supported the Ayotzinapa college a lot, I gave them a bus, I increased their scholarships, so why would I want to harm them?” he continued.
But the parents remained steadfast and unconvinced.
“If you gave that to the college, it was your obligation, but now we want you to tell us where our sons are, and if you know, tell the authorities so that they look for them,” a mother responded.
Aguirre, in turn, replied that he had made a voluntary statement to the PGR and said that he had a clear and calm conscience in relation to the matter. In response, the parents continued to pepper him with questions and accusations.
Shortly after, Aguirre went over to the microphone and seemed poised to address the crowd but ultimately thought better off it, stepped down from the stage and left the venue, escorted by his supporters and personal bodyguards.
As he departed, chants of “murderer” continued to ring out behind him.
Source: Reforma (sp)