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News > Latin America

Mexico: Families Fear Forced Disappearance of Detained Students

  • Police stand watch over community members after clashes broke out between police and protesters demanding the release of 52 detained students Dec. 7, 2015.

    Police stand watch over community members after clashes broke out between police and protesters demanding the release of 52 detained students Dec. 7, 2015. | Photo: EFE

Published 13 December 2015

Mexican authorities issued an arrest warrant for 30 of the 52 teacher trainees detained after a protest while families demand their freedom.

Families of teacher trainees from the central Mexican state of Michoacan are continuing to demand that authorities release the 30 students jailed for having homemade explosives in a recent protest.

A Mexican court ordered the detention of 30 out of 52 teacher training students on Saturday who were detained last Monday on accusations of making and possessing 25 makeshift grenades while blocking a highway in Zirahuen, Michoacan, Mexico’s critical magazine Proceso reported.

Relatives of the detained students slammed the arrests as “illegal,” expressing fear that federal and state authorities could forcibly disappear their family members, like what happened to the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students in the state of Guerrero in September 2014, La Jornada reported.

“Detention of teacher training students in Michoacan mobilized the CNTE and family members.”

In the case of Ayotzinapa, the government claims the students were burnt in a garbage dump by an organized crime syndicate in Guerrero despite experts rejecting the story with contrary evidence.

Parents of the detained have demanded that the students be freed and condemned President Enrique Peña Nieto and Michoacan Governor Silvano Aureoles of perpetuating an attitude of repression and criminalization toward teaching training students and teachers in the CNTE education union.

IN DEPTH: Justice for Ayotzinapa

CNTE members have been protesting the government for months to reject planned government reforms that include evaluation exams and demand respect for labor and union rights.

The news comes as families and supporters marched Saturday to commemorate four years since two Ayotzinapa students were killed during a protest in Iguala, Guerrero.

“Thousands march in Chilpancingo for the fourth anniversary of the murder of Alexis and Gabriel, Ayotzinapa teacher training students.”

The arrest order for the 30 students is for all the men among the 52 initially detained, while the 22 women in the group could still face the same decision, the students’ legal representative Felix Perez said, according to Informador.

But according to the defense team, the ruling is an extrajudicial decision given the lack of ground on which to process the teacher training students.

ANALYSIS: US Collaboration in Mexico's New Dirty War

A resolution to the situation through dialogue between the students’ supporters and the government of Michoacan seems unlikely as the family members of the detained students continue to insist the students are innocent.

The CNTE union leadership has “categorically rejected” the accusations against the students, saying they do not know how to make homemade bombs.

WATCH: Mexican Students Arrested After Protest

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