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Protests Rock Mexico After Student Killings

After gang members in the Mexican state of Guerrero admitted that they killed 43 students, dismembered and burnt their bodies, and threw them in a river protests have hit Mexico condemning the government’s failure to rein in the crime that has ravaged Mexico for decades. While crime has been a chronic problem in Mexico – which is ground zero for the drug war – the student killings seem to have been the breaking point leading to demonstrators burning down government buildings and shutting down Acapulco’s airport.

The protests have now gained new steam on social media thanks to an imprudent statement by Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam who concluded a press conference about the missing students by saying he was tired. “Ya me cansé,” or “I am tired” went viral and encouraged more Mexicans to demonstrate in numerous cities about the government’s handling of the case and Mexico’s crime problem which often has people “disappear.”

Demonstrators sprayed graffiti on the walls of Mexico’s National Palace Saturday, trying to break down and set fire to a massive wooden door. “These are the people that are screwing over the country,” they chanted. Protesters clashed with police at Acapulco’s airport on Monday, crippling the airport for hours and forcing the cancellation of several flights.

Mexico’s President has also said he’s outraged about the students’ case, but he’s condemned the protest violence. And some have expressed skepticism that protesters are truly concerned about what happened to the students, accusing them of exploiting the situation for political reasons. Protesters condemn what they call inaction by the government. “There is a national emergency. This is clear,” José Alcaraz, a protest organizer, told CNN en Español Saturday. “There is a decomposition of the Mexican state.”

The drug war has deformed the Mexican state with billionaire cartel leaders having as much power as high elected officials (if not more). Often state officials and the cartels collude as political corruption has become a major issue in Mexico with the US State Department openly declaring that “corruption is pervasive in almost all levels of Mexican government and society.”

It seems the Mexican people knows this all too well with some apparently ready to fight it out in the streets with the government. It is still not altogether clear what, if anything, the Mexican government can do to win back public trust. Presumably the elite of Mexico are simply waiting for the anger to die down so they can get back to business. That might not be an option.

CommunityThe Bullpen

Protests Rock Mexico After Student Killings

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After gang members in the Mexican state of Guerrero admitted that they killed 43 students, dismembered and burnt their bodies, and threw them in a river protests have hit Mexico condemning the government’s failure to rein in the crime that has ravaged Mexico for decades. While crime has been a chronic problem in Mexico – which is ground zero for the drug war – the student killings seem to have been the breaking point leading to demonstrators burning down government buildings and shutting down Acapulco’s airport.

The protests have now gained new steam on social media thanks to an imprudent statement by Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam who concluded a press conference about the missing students by saying he was tired. “Ya me cansé,” or “I am tired” went viral and encouraged  more Mexicans to demonstrate in numerous cities about the government’s handling of the case and Mexico’s crime problem which often has people “disappear.”

Demonstrators sprayed graffiti on the walls of Mexico’s National Palace Saturday, trying to break down and set fire to a massive wooden door. “These are the people that are screwing over the country,” they chanted. Protesters clashed with police at Acapulco’s airport on Monday, crippling the airport for hours and forcing the cancellation of several flights.

Mexico’s President has also said he’s outraged about the students’ case, but he’s condemned the protest violence. And some have expressed skepticism that protesters are truly concerned about what happened to the students, accusing them of exploiting the situation for political reasons. Protesters condemn what they call inaction by the government. “There is a national emergency. This is clear,” José Alcaraz, a protest organizer, told CNN en Español Saturday. “There is a decomposition of the Mexican state.”

The drug war has deformed the Mexican state with billionaire cartel leaders having as much power as high elected officials (if not more). Often state officials and the cartels collude as political corruption has become a major issue in Mexico with the US State Department openly declaring that “corruption is pervasive in almost all levels of Mexican government and society.”

It seems the Mexican people knows this all too well with some apparently ready to fight it out in the streets with the government. It is still not altogether clear what, if anything, the Mexican government can do to win back public trust. Presumably the elite of Mexico are simply waiting for the anger to die down so they can get back to business. That might not be an option.

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.