We begin with a teleSUR English report on one of the missing 43:
They took Luis Ángel Arzola alive, we want him back alive
Lorenzo Francisco Gálvez talks about his son, Luis Ángel Francisco Arzola, who is one of the 43 students of the Ayotzinapa Rural Teacher Training College who were kidnapped in Iguala on September 26 and not seen since.
From the Guardian, a report about the day’s blockbuster story:
Mexico authorities ‘knew about attack on students as it happened’
- Leaked government documents say federal officials did nothing to stop disappearance and probable massacre of missing 43
Mexican federal authorities had real-time information of an attack on a group of student teachers by corrupt local police, but did nothing to stop the disappearance and probable massacre of 43 people, according to new evidence published by the news magazine Proceso.
Based on leaked government documents, the new allegations are likely to further fuel public anger at the government of the president, Enrique Peña Nieto, which has insisted that federal authorities share no responsibility for the students’ disappearance.
The documents include a detailed record of the student’s movements made by a government information command post – known as a C4 – as the group left their college in Ayotzinapa in the town of Tixtla.
Anabel Hernández, one of the report’s authors, told MCS Noticias radio station: “When we see that the federal government and the state government were following the students since they left the college in Ayotzinapa, it becomes very difficult to think that everything else that happened was an accident.”
The story was assembled with the help of the UC Berkeley journalism school for the Mexican magazine Proceso.
We know one of the authors, Steve Fisher, who has done excellent reporting on environmental issues. And here how teleSUR describes co-author Anabel Hernández in a must-read interview with the reporters:
The ever-passionate and expressive Hernandez is no stranger to explosive investigations and allegations, so much so that her home was raided by official authorities late last year. The award-winning and internationally-acclaimed journalist has also been subjected to harrowing, threatening acts, such as having found animal body parts at the doorstep of her home.
Now for the Proceso story, via a Borderland Beat translation:
Iguala: Unofficial history
Federal forces participated in the attack against the students at the normal Ayotzinapa the night of September 26 in Iguala, Guerrero, during which died three teacher training and 43 went missing in a succession of facts that was known in real time by the federal government.
A study done with the support of the Journalism Program of Research from the University of California at Berkeley on the basis of testimonies, videos, unpublished reports and judicial statements shows that the Federal Police (PF) participated actively and were directly involved in the attack.
Even more, according to information obtained by the normal process of Ayotzinapa, the attack and disappearance of the students was directed specifically to the ideological structure and governance of the institution, because one of the 43 missing was part of the Committee on student Struggle, the highest governing body of the school and 10 were “political activists in training” of the committee of political and ideological orientation (COPI).
Until now the official version is that the then mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca, ordered the aggression, concerned about the possibility that students interrupted the report on the activities of his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda Villa, President of the municipal DIF.
According to this version, municipal police of Iguala and the neighboring municipality of Cocula attacked and captured the students, while members of Guerreros Unidos killed the missing and burned their corpses. with the ignorance of the federal agents and soldiers stationed in the area.
And there’s a video of confrontations and one of the first shootings in Iguala, with another cell phone visible and recording as well, via Proceso:
Iguala: The Unofficial History
Audiovideos captured by witnesses to the attack on Ayotzinapa students.
Next, a damning admission, via teleSUR:
Federal Police Claim They Knew but Didn’t Participate in Iguala
A high ranking federal police officer agreed that the Ayotzinapa students were under surveillance, but denied that agents participated actively in the events of September 26, meaning the government has been hiding information for over two months.
Enrique Galindo, general commissioner of Mexico’s Federal Police, accepted on Monday that the organization knew about the attack on Ayotzinapa Teacher Training School students on September 26. However, he denied that federal officers were among the ones attacking and eventually abducting students in the southern state of Guerrero.
“Federal Police do not intervene, there’s no clear evidence of their active participation in the incidents … that truck [apparently a federal police truck, seen in a video shown by Proceso magazine] it’s not a federal police truck.”
“We did know about that day’s demonstrations because they [the students] came by bus. Our jurisdiction only applies to federal roads. The federal officers did go after the call for help, to respond to the violent acts against the soccer team, but we didn’t act at all in the city,” declared the official yesterday during an interview.
And from Eric J. Garcia’s El Machete Illustrated, a graphic response:
U.S. helping drug war
Followed by the inevitable poster protection, covered in a subsequent teleSUR story:
Mexico Government Denies Federal Involvement in Ayotzinapa Case
- Attorney General Jesus Murillo said he has no evidence of Federal Police participating in the attack against the students.
Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo denied this Tuesday news reports suggesting involvement of federal police forces in the attack against the Ayotzinapa students in Iguala, Guerrero on Sept. 26, when three of them were killed and 43 others forcibly disappeared.
“Is absolutely not true that the Federal Police participated, there are many statements that have no foundation,” said Murillo in an interview with Mexican broadcaster MVS.
Murillo said that even when the Federal Police knew about the moves of the students that does not imply that it participated in the attack.
“I do not have the evidence that they claim to have. I do not know where that evidence comes from. If they have it I hope they hand it to me for analyzing it.” said Murillo in another interview with Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui.
Reuters covers a disappointing development:
Austrian experts may need months to identify murdered Mexican students
Austrian forensics experts who helped solve the mystery of Russia’s murdered imperial family identified one student earlier this month using samples sent to Innsbruck’s Medical University.
The remaining samples, however, are in such a bad state that even time-consuming specialist analysis, focusing on so-called mitochondrial DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), might take months, if it yields any good data at all.
“We hope for results in the next two to three months,” molecular biologist Walther Parson, a leading expert at Innsbruck Medical University’s forensics institute, who is working on the Mexican case, said.
“The chances for useful results even with mitochondrial DNA are very slim, but we will try everything to create more potential DNA profiles.”
The Guardian covers police suppression:
Mexican police clash with protesters at site of concert for missing students
- Injuries to 21 people reported and cars burned near venue of solidarity concert for 43 students missing since September
Clashes between federal police and protesters organising a concert in solidarity with 43 missing college students left at least 21 people injured and several cars in flames on Sunday in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero.
A police official said eight officers were injured, including five who were run over by a vehicle. Three others were said to have been beaten by protesting teachers, leaving one officer with “severe brain damage”. The official was not authorised to talk to the press and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Tlachinollan human rights group, which supports the relatives of the missing students, said the violence left at least 13 people injured, including students, teachers, parents of the missing students and two journalists, including a photographer who was working with Associated Press.
From teleSUR, the response from those who matter the most:
Relatives of Missing 43 Suspend Dialogue with Mexican Gov’t
- Victims claim that the federal government is carrying out a strategy of provocation to orchestrate a violent end to the mass protests.
Claiming the government has been taunting the relatives of the missing 43, their lawyer announced the temporary suspension of the dialogue with federal officials on Tuesday.
“Right now we suspend the talks with the federal government because of all the things that have been happening,” said Vidulfo Rosales, lawyer of the missing 43 relatives.
However, Rosales also noted that the parents are willing to receive information from the government in order to find out what really happened to their sons.
The teleSUR English video report:
Mexico: government charged with seeking to criminalize protests
Family members of the 42 missing Ayotzinapa Teachers Training College students and human rights lawyers charged that Sunday’s confrontation with federal police at a concert in Chilpancingo, Guerrero was a provocation designed to criminalize the growing protest movement in Mexico. Meanwhile, there is mounting pressure on the Federal Attorney General’s Office to explain the role of the federal police and the military in the killing and kidnapping of the Ayotzinapa students as reported by the weekly magazine Proceso and contrary to the government line that only municipal police were involved. Clayton Conn reports from Mexico City.
From the Latin American Herald Tribune, vigilantes return:
Armed Civilians Block Roads in Western Mexico to Press for Cartel Crackdown
Hundreds of armed civilians blocked highways over the weekend in nine of the 113 cities in the western Mexican state of Michoacan to pressure the federal government to arrest Caballeros Templarios drug cartel members.
The civilians, who were armed with assault rifles and pistols, used buses, trucks and pick-up trucks, to block the roads on Sunday.
The protesters unfurled banners that called for the arrest of Servando Gomez Martinez, the cartel’s leader.
The demonstrators also called for the arrest of Sergio Huerta Tena, a close associate of Gomez Martinez, and Ignacio Andrade Renteria, a former associate of the drug lord.
And from teleSUR, the battle to keep military murder under wraps:
Mexico: Tlatlaya Massacre Witnesses Released
- Orders are given for two women who witnessed a massacre of 22 presumed criminals by the Mexican army to be released.
A federal judge ordered the immediate release on Monday of two women who were arrested by the Mexican army in June this year, witnesses to the mass execution of 22 presumed organized crime members by the army in a warehouse in the town of Tlatlaya, State of Mexico.
The Fourth District Court in the State of Mexico ordered the dismissal of the criminal charges of illegal possession of firearms and cartridges for the exclusive use of the military.
The two women remain detained in the Women’s Federal Social Rehabilitation Center in Tepic, Nayarit.
And a story that should inspire students at the University of California, via teleSUR:
Mexican University Resumes Classes after 76-Day Student Strike
- Students returned to classes Monday after fighting against proposed reforms for more than two months.
About 12,000 students from the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) resumed classes Monday, ending a 76-day student strike against changes to the curriculum and other major reforms.
The IPN´s 40,000 students and nearly 4,000 employees resumed their normal academic activities, starting with the medicine and health science colleges, while the engineering department will commence classes on Jan. 7.
The students have demanded that federal government and IPN authorities suspend changes to the curriculum because they would lower the quality of education. Students also called for the removal of IPN’s dean, Yoloxochitl Bustamante.
Tens of thousands of undergraduates took to the streets, and by October they achieved these two demands. However, realizing the strength of their movement, the students called for further changes and proposed to hold negotiations with the government.
Finally, a graphic from Vancouver, British Columbia photographer Paulo Noe Mariles of a demonstration of solidarity at the Vancouver Art Gallery: