The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Mexico:
Students Killed by Police and by Drug Gangsters

Oct 13, 2014

This article is from the October 3rd issue of Lutte Ouvrière (Workers Struggle), the paper of the revolutionary workers group of that name active in France.

On September 26, in the state of Guerrero, the Mexican police carried out a massacre. Students from a school in Inguala, 60 miles south of Mexico City, who were training to become teachers, demonstrated against so-called “reform” measures detrimental to them. As they were getting on their buses to leave the demonstration, the police started shooting.

The police even targeted the bus of a soccer team, killing the driver and a 15-year-old soccer player. Six were killed on the spot, including three students, and more than 20 were injured.

On top of that, 46 students disappeared that day. They have most likely all been killed. Several corpses have been found in mass graves. Two drug traffickers have already avowed they killed 17 of these students. The likely scenario is that the mayor and/or the police asked these drug traffickers to kill the students. In Guerrero, 26 policemen have been arrested, and the mayor and the chief of the police have run away.

A few days before this demonstration, an officer and seven soldiers had been arrested for killing 20 people in June, in relation to drug trafficking.

The Mexican police and army are accustomed to using extreme brutality. The struggle against the drug cartels means daily murders and torture. Amnesty International recently noted that 7,000 complaints against the police and the army had been registered over the past four years, a 600% increase over 10 years.

The president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, comes from the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which has a long history of corruption. All he found to propose was the creation of a new armed force, the Gendarmeria Nacional. What will a new name and a new uniform do in the face of deals with the enormously rich drug cartel?

In a country where a large part of the population lives in poverty, seizing part of this drug money is a permanent strategy for the state apparatus, all the way from the top down to the rank and file of the police. Everything contributes to perpetuate the social violence we saw in the events in Guerrero.