After kidnapping of students, mass protests rock Mexico

Protesters take to the streets in Mexico City, Nov. 5, in one of many protests demanding the return of 43 missing students.Photo: Alan Roth

Protesters take to the streets in Mexico City, Nov. 5, in one of many protests demanding the return of 43 missing students.
Photo: Alan Roth

Mexico continues to be rocked by massive protests after the disappearance of 43 students from the city of Iguala, Guerrero state, on Sept. 27. The youth had been handed over to local drug lords by police who fired on a student demonstration, killing six and wounding many more.

Many bodies have since been found in mass graves in the area, but none have matched the missing students’ DNA. That means many others have been killed, showing the widespread use of terror by those in power.

One of the largest protests took place in Mexico City on Nov. 5, when an estimated 150,000 people gathered, according to Since then, the struggle has grown even more militant. On Nov. 8, during another large demonstration in Mexico’s capital, enraged students tried to break down the main doors of the National Palace, using a police barricade as a battering ram and then setting the doors on fire. (presstv)

On the same day, in Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero state, hundreds of students hurled firebombs and stones at state buildings, demanding “They took them alive, we want them back alive!”

Mexico has been in a state of crisis for decades, especially since the so-called North American Free Trade Agreement undercut millions of small farmers. NAFTA had been pushed on the country in 1994 by U.S. corporations and Mexico’s comprador bourgeoisie. The result has been an economic depression, especially in the countryside as U.S.-based agribusiness captured the market, and mass emigration in search of work. Added to the reasons for leaving is the threat of horrific violence by the authorities and their criminal cohorts. More people leave Guerrero to go north than from any other Mexican state.

One year after NAFTA took effect, at least 17 peasants on a protest march in the city of Aguas Blancas had been gunned down by Guerrero state police. Aguas Blancas is less than an hour’s drive from the luxurious tourist resort city of Acapulco.

Increased state repression against the workers and farmers has paralleled impunity given to drug lords, who work hand-in-hand with the police to keep the people down through a reign of terror.

Where are the calls for sanctions or blockades against the Mexican government in response to these atrocities? Not a peep from Washington or other self-designated “democratic” states, which frequently use these political and economic tools to break down countries resisting imperialist control of their national economies.

But the youth, farmers and workers of Mexico are not waiting for the imperialist states to help them. They are reviving the revolutionary traditions of struggle that have deep roots in their country.

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