Protesters in Mexico City stormed Mexico’s National Palace Saturday night and set fire to the Palace’s ancient wooden doors before being repelled back by police, in protests over the deaths of 43 students by drug gang-affiliated police.
Elsewhere in the country, protesters threw rocks at government buildings and set fire to a police vehicle, chanting “They took them alive, we want them back alive!” according to Business Insider.
The protests were set off by the Mexican government’s perceived mishandling of the case of 43 students whose mutilated and charred bodies were found thrown into a river near the southern Mexico town of Iguala, according to this Inquisitr report. The students had commandeered a bus and were taken by police, then turned over to the violent Guerroros Unidos (Warriors United) drug cartel, allegedly on orders from Iguala’s mayor.
Several gang hitmen have confessed to the crimes, but fellow students and families of the victims are not satisfied with that explanation, awaiting independent DNA analysis from a forensics lab in Argentina. Meliton Ortega, uncle of one of the missing students, told Business Insider that he believes the government is trying to sweep the issue under the rug.
“It appears that the federal government, with great irresponsibility, is interested in closing this matter because it’s all based on testimony. There is nothing definitive.”
Mexico’s Attorney General Jesús Morillo gave a press conference Friday night, according to the Guardian, in which he made an unfortunate verbal gaffe that has further enraged the protesters. After speaking for an hour, he said “Ya me cansé” (“I’ve had enough”) and walked away from the microphone. Protesters have seized upon the phrase and have made it a rallying cry of their own, both at protests and on social media, with the Twitter hashtag #YaMeCansé.
— Vianey Pizarro (@Vianey_Pizarro) November 8, 2014
[“I will not get tired for the good of the nation.”]
— marissa j-v (@marissajv) November 9, 2014
Since 2006, some 80,000 Mexicans have been killed, and another 22,000 have gone missing, in drug-related violence.
Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto was not present at the National Palace when the building was stormed by protesters; the Palace is used mostly for ceremonies, and Nieto lives in Los Pinos (“The Pines”) in another part of Mexico City.
[Image courtesy of: Business Insider]