There are more than 40 violent shock groups operating on different campuses of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), most of them in their supplementary high schools, university authorities and the government of Mexico City have confirmed.
On September 5, tens of thousands of students from various institutions marched at UNAM to protest the latest attack by mercenary shock groups, known in Mexican jargon as 'porros' (hooligans), and to demand their immediate dissolution and punishment.
Porros attacked a group of students from the CCH Azcapotzalco, a high school operated by UNAM, on Monday, injuring 14 and leaving one in need of surgery due to a serious kidney injury caused by a firecracker. Others were stabbed and one lost an ear.
The students were demanding financial transparency and better safety measures following the recent disappearance of two young females from campus.
On Wednesday, UNAM published the names of 18 students expelled from various institutions for taking part in violent acts.
The latest report says there are at least 11 such mercenary shock groups in CCH Azcapotzalco alone, with many more registered in other CCH high schools.
The porros are disguised as student associations but operate as shock groups under the command of university authorities or politicians with specific political and personal objectives, often to violently break up protests.
They have been an important reactionary force in student movements since the late 1920s and played a key role at the height of the 1968 uprising that was met with heavy repression from legal and extralegal state forces.
They originated from the synergy of student gangs, conservative groups, university authorities, (American) football teams and their supporters in student federations. They distinguish themselves by wearing jerseys bearing their school's name.
Scores of high schools, and now higher education institutions, have been on strike since Monday in response to the attacks. They have issued a series of demands to improve security measures on campus and to fight mercenary groups.