Tuesday 3 January 2012

Normal students occupy radio stations in Guerrero

Students from a Normal School in  Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, took control of four radio stations for over thirty minutes on Tuesday, January 3rd, in order to encourage citizens in Chilpancingo, the state capital, to join its movement demanding punishment for two students killed on December 12th.

The two students were shot during a demonstration in which they had closed the Autopista del Sol – the highway between Acapulco and Mexico city – near Chilpancingo. At the time, the students of the Raúl Isidro Burgos school were demonstrating over a number of grievances ranging from class size to administrative issues. Repeated efforts to meet with the State governor, Angel Aguirre Rivero, had been frustrated.

During the most recent action the students from Ayotzinapa were supported by normal school (teacher’s college) students from Chihuahua, Mexico State, Oaxaca, Michoacán, and Coahuila (Saltillo). These students are all members of the Federación de Estudiantes Campesinos Socialistas de México. They arrived at the premises of the radio stations shortly after 12:30 pm and were removed 40 minutes later.

"We ask the public to join our movement to achieve the removal of governor Angel Aguirre Rivero, who is responsible for the deaths of our two colleagues," said one of the students.

The students, who are in their early 20s, took control of radio stations Radiorama, XEUAG, ABC, as well as the government radio and TV station in Chilpancingo.

The students expressed solidarity with the relatives of a gas station worker, Gonzalo Rivas, who died from burns suffered while he attempted to put out a fire at his station at the side of the highway during the demonstration. Some eyewitnesses have claimed that it was students who set fire to the gas station, but this has been denied by the students themselves.

It is possible that the fire was set by an “agitprop” demonstrator, set into the mêlée by authorities in order to allow for an escalated response. It was after the gas station was set alight that authorities opened fire on the students. Since then, a debate has raged as to who was actually responsible for the students’ death.

The number one demand from the students is the identity of the officers who opened fire. Given the amount of photographic and video evidence collected by authorities, it seems remarkable that this crucial information remains unclear.

A major worry on the part of the students is that the governor secretly wishes to close the school, though Ángel Aguirre Rivero has rejected this accusation.   

For more information, including a summary of events, go here.

Twitter: @TimothyEWilson
Email: lapoliticaeslapolitica [at] gmail [dot] com


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