On Nov. 20, the anniversary of Mexico’s 1910 revolution, tens of thousands of protesters filled the streets of downtown Mexico City in a massive demonstration of public anger over government corruption and the abduction of 43 college students at Iguala in southern Guerrero state. The marchers converged from three directions on the capital’s enormous central plaza, the Zócalo, where President Enrique Pena Nieto was burned in effigy and clashes erupted. Some protesters hurled Molotov cocktails at police in the plaza. Similar clashes were reported near Mexico City’s airport. The march was part of a national mobilization. Three caravans, led by family members of the missing students, traveled throughout the country before uniting in the capital for the march on the Zócalo. In southern Chiapas state, the caravan met with leaders of the Zapatista rebel movement, which issued a statement in support of the protesters. At an earlier march on the Zócalo Nov. 9, protesters managed to burn down the door of the National Palace. A general strike has been called across Mexico.
The students, who disappeared in late September, are now believed to have been turned over to a narco-gang by the Iguala police, with the complicity of local officials. Authorities announced earlier this month that gang suspects had confessed to killing the students, incinerating their remains and dumping them in a river after receiving them from corrupt cops. But a mass grave found near Iguala in the course of the investigation proved to be other victims of the narco gangs. Protesters are holding out hope, and have adopted the slogan, “We want them alive.”
Mexico’s Prosecutor General Jesús Murillo Karam sparked special outrage when he lamented “ya me cansé” (“I’m tired of this already”) when under fire from journalists’ questions at a press conference on the Iguala affair. Protesters have now made “ya me cansé” an Internet meme, spawning a Web site and Twitter hashtag.