Protests in Mexico after claims of Guerrero student deaths

A burning car next to a graffiti outside the State Government headquarters in Chilpancingo, Guerrero State, on November 8, 2014.

A burning car next to a graffiti outside the State Government headquarters in Chilpancingo, Guerrero State, on November 8, 2014.

Hundreds of protesters in the Mexican state of Guerrero have attacked government buildings in the capital, Chilpancingo, burning cars

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Hurricane, tropical storm blamed for at least 12 more deaths in Mexico

Hurricane Ingrid and Tropical Storm Manuel have been pummeling the country on its eastern and western coasts even before either has made landfall.

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A family wades through a flooded street in Acapulco following the passage of Tropical Storm Manuel on Sunday.       PEDRO PARDO/AFP/Getty Images

(AP) ACAPULCO, Mexico — Flooding and landslides unleashed by Hurricane Ingrid and Tropical Storm Manuel have claimed at least a dozen lives even before the weather systems had made landfall on the country’s east and west coasts.

In the southern Pacific Coast state of Guerrero, rains unleashed by Manuel resulted in the deaths of six people when their SUV lost control on a highway headed for the tourist resort of Acapulco.

 Another five people died in landslides in Guerrero and Puebla states, while the collapse of a fence killed another person in Acapulco.

Hurricane Ingrid, tropical storm Manuel combine to kill 20 in Mexico

Mexican marines carry an elderly woman to a shelter

Mexican marines carry an elderly woman to a shelterafter her home was flooded by rains caused by tropical storm Manuel.     AFP: Pedro Pardo

(AFP) At least 20 people have been killed and thousands more forced to evacuate as Hurricane Ingrid and tropical storm Manuel triggered rain, landslides and floods in Mexico.

The systems soaked large swathes of the country, causing rivers to swell, flooding streets and damaging bridges as they flanked the coasts, with Manuel in the Pacific and Ingrid in the Gulf of Mexico.

The storms were blamed for at least 14 deaths in the south-eastern state of Guerrero and six in the central states of Puebla and Hidalgo, officials said.

In Guerrero, more than 2,000 people left their homes while 21,000 households were without power, state civil protection official Constantino Gonzales Vargas said.

Of the 14 fatalities, six people were killed when their van’s driver lost control due to a lack of visibility on a slippery road as they made their way to the resort city of Acapulco, he said.

Six others died in landslides and the collapse of walls in three Guerrero towns.

Two more people drowned when they were swept away by a swollen river in the state capital Chilpancingo.

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Hurricane Manuel Likley to Trigger Flash Floods and Mudslides

(TWC) Tropical Storm Manuel formed near Mexico’s Pacific coast Friday afternoon. Manuel’s center is expected to move to the north or northwest before heading inland into Mexico and dissipating later this weekend.

Projected Path

Projected Path

A hurricane warning has been issued for portions of the Mexican coast, including Lazaro Cardenas to Manzanillo. A tropical storm warning has been posted for a part of the Mexican coast, including Acapulco to east of Lazaro Cardenas.

This is one case where the track of the center of circulation may not be as important as other tropical cyclones.

As you can see in the infrared satellite below, a large area of thunderstorms lies around this large gyre in which Manuel’s circulation resides. 

Therefore, heavy rain will be the main threat from this system. Isolated totals up to 20 inches are possible in the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Guerrero. This will likely trigger life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides.

Mexican teachers set fire in local ruling party office

Firemen try to extinguish a fire inside one of the Mexican political parties offices via AFP
By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Teachers angered at education reform stormed the offices of political parties in southwestern Mexico on Wednesday, breaking windows and setting fire inside the ruling party’s local headquarters.

Thousands of members of the CETEG teachers’ union, joined by farmers and student groups, marched in the capital of Guerrero state, Chilpancingo, while groups wearing masks took their anger out on the offices of four political parties.

Plumes of black smoke billowed from the rectangular-shaped office of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in the state capital after masked protesters broke into the building and tossed chairs, papers and plants from windows.

Some spray-painted anti-government graffiti on the building, while others tore pictures of President Enrique Pena Nieto, who pushed through an overhaul of the nation’s flagging education system with the backing of opposition parties.

The protesters used pipes and sticks to destroy windows and doors at the local headquarters of the National Action Party (PAN), the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) and the Citizen Movement. Protesters wrote “traitors of the people” on the PRD’s walls.

Milenio television also showed small fires inside the state education department’s audit office, with computers and broken pieces of glass strewn on the parking lot. Firefighters were later seen dousing the flames.

Police did not intervene while some 300 police officers protected the state legislature.

Teachers have held protests in recent weeks, twice blocking the highway between Mexico City and the Pacific resort of Acapulco to denounce the reform that passed the federal Congress in December.

The latest demonstration erupted one day after the Guerrero state legislature approved an education bill that fell well short of protesters’ demands to water down the federal law, which requires teachers to pass periodic tests to get jobs and promotions.

Minervo Moran, the CETEG union’s spokesman, said the violent protests were “a reaction to the aggressive policies that are being imposed by the reforms and that’s why there was this sort of action against the parties” that voted against the protesters’ proposals.

Moran warned that the demonstrations “could escalate, but it is up to the government and the legislature to find a solution.” He said the union would hold a meeting later in the day to decide the way forward.

PRI chairman Cesar Camaco condemned the attacks, telling Milenio that it was “a bad signal and this cannot remain unpunished.”

Chilpancingo Mayor Mario Moreno asked for federal security support to control the situation.

“We as a municipality do not have the ability to face a mob of 4,000 or 5,000 people,” Moreno told Milenio.

Meanwhile, students in schools to become teachers temporarily blocked two federal highways in the neighboring state of Michoacan, demanding that graduates from their college automatically get teaching positions.

Protests have also taken place in recent weeks in Oaxaca, which is among the country’s poorest states along with Guerrero and Michoacan.

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7 bodies found placed in chairs along road in Mexico

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MORELIA, Mexico –  Authorities say the bodies of seven men were found in plastic chairs placed along the side of a street in the drug-plagued Mexican state of Michoacan, while another seven people, including three federal agents, were killed in neighboring Guerrero.

Michoacan’s Attorney General’s Office said in a statement Saturday that the seven bodies had bullet wounds and had been placed individually in the sitting position in chairs near a traffic circle in the city of Uruapan. The office did not provide a motive for killings.

In Guerrero state, authorities said armed men opened fire in a bar in Ciudad Altamirano late Friday. Four civilians and three off-duty federal agents were killed.

Both states on Mexico’s western coast have seen a surge of violence in recent years attributed to drug cartels.

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