The disappearance and likely murder of 43 students from a teachers’ college in Mexico has triggered protests that some say could lead to a political earthquake the likes of which the country hasn’t seen in generations, maybe even since the Mexican Revolution.
Leaders of civil movements in Mexico are calling for a national day of protest on Thursday that could include strikes by union-affiliated workers.
Mexico analyst Andrew Selee of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. says the crisis gives hope that the country’s political class may finally tackle the known links between organized crime and government that many Mexicans blame for the students’ death.
“There are some foundations of rule of law dealing with corruption that have not been dealt with as actively as they need to be, and Mexicans are calling on their government, on all the political parties, to do something about this,” he said.
Selee says protestors are calling on Mexico to “return to doing nuts and bolts public security reforms” in the courts and among police forces, and to tackle what he calls the “nexus between organized crime and political power” that exists in the country.
The story began on September 26, when a drug gang – with the help of police officers – allegedly kidnapped and murdered the 43 students, burning their corpses before throwing them into a river.
Reporters Without Borders said this week that at least seven journalists were attacked by Mexican police in the state capital of Chilpancingo during protests over the students’ disappearance. The journalists claim police threw rocks at them while they were attempting to cover the protests.