Protesters occupy gov’t office in Mexican capital

A score of hooded protesters on Tuesday occupied the Michoacan state government’s representative office in the Mexican capital to demand the release of eight students arrested in an Oct. 15 police operation. The intruders took control of the premises “without hurting anybody,” one of them told reporters as municipal police surrounded the office. The two Michoacan government employees still inside the office are there by their own choice, the spokesman for the occupiers said, suggesting he and his comrades plan to maintain the occupation for 12 hours.

The occupiers are demanding the release of eight students – out of a total of 176 arrested – who remain in custody more than a week after police stormed three schools in Michoacan to retrieve 82 commandeered vehicles. Students had seized buses and delivery trucks belonging to firms such as Coca-Cola and Sabritas to protest changes to the curriculum at Mexico’s normal schools.

Those institutions – once common in both Europe and the Americas – prepare young people for careers in teaching. Authorities in Michoacan, led by “the repressor (Gov.) Fausto Vallejo,” have beaten the jailed students and refuse to pursue a negotiated solution to the curriculum conflict, the occupiers in Mexico City said Tuesday. EFE

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