Filed under: Action, Education, Mexico, Repression, Southern Mexico
On June 9, police from Aguascalientes beat, set dogs on, arrested, and robbed 90 teaching college students (normalistas) from the Vasco de Quiroga Rural Teaching College in Tiripetío, Michoacán. The normalistas were forced off the buses they were traveling in on their way back to their school after having been at the Justo Sierra Méndez Rural Teaching College in the community of Cañada Honda, Aguascalientes. According to Juan Carlos Sánchez Valencia, one of the students who was attacked, the normalistas were in Aguascalientes protesting in solidarity with female normalistas at the Justo Sierra Méndez Rural Teaching College.
After 4pm, upon leaving the city of Aguascalientes, they were intercepted by police, who threw nails at the tires of the two buses and blocked off the roads with patrol cars. Arriving at a neighborhood nearby, the buses stopped, Sánchez Valencia said, and the normalistas ran towards a vacant lot, chased by police.
When police caught up with them, they beat up the normalistas with batons and used dogs to attack them. “They bit my foot and arm and even though I was bleeding, the cops threw me into the patrol car,” Sánchez Valencia said.
At least 26 of the 90 normalistas were arrested and taken to a “government unit.” “But police were told that we could not be held there” added the young man. He explained that they were taken through Aguascalientes and were released once they were stripped of their belongings, such as wallets, cell phones, and other objects.
Most of the students returned to the Cañada Honda Teaching College and about 20 were taken to a private clinic for X-rays and to get stitches for their head wounds.
Public officials from Aguascalientes published messages against the normalistas on social media.
Jorge Iván Macías Villalpando, an Infonavit public official in Aguascalientes, published on Facebook: “and then they wonder why they disappear them,” in the comments of a news report about the protest at Cañada Honda, last Wednesday.
On the same day, the former local deputy and city council coordinator, Alberto Aguilera López, wrote on social media: “We as citizens, if we see them, we should fuck them up, tax payer money has to be used to repaint over their stupidities,” referring to graffiti painted by normalistas on buildings during a protest.
Maria de Jesús Díaz, advisor to the mayor of Aguascalientes, Teresa Jiménez Esquivel, and former municipal delegate of Cañada Honda, wrote on her Facebook wall:
“Damn crazies friend, it’s sad that these types of people who are supposedly educated, cause destruction in our city without thinking about the consequences, what a pity that we have to deal with these crazy women.”
The struggle of the normalistas from Cañada Honda is to demand respect for the 120 newly enrolled members of the school, as well as respect for the internal organization and curriculum of the school, and the timing and agreements established for the new enrollment of entry-level students at the national level.