Student protest in Mexico turns violent, 176 arrested
MORELIA, Mexico — Mexican students protesting a new curriculum threw homemade explosives, fired rockets and hurled stones at police in a melee that left 176 arrested and 10 police officers injured, officials said.
The protesting students are preparing to become teachers in rural areas, and they are angry because the new curriculum includes English and computer science, which they see as low-priority subjects in poor rural areas of Mexico.
Police used tear gas and rubber bullets against the students in this city in western Michoacan state.
Students protested after talks with state authorities on the disputed curriculum collapsed. They also fought police with sticks and firecrackers.
The students have been holding more than 40 city buses in their possession since October 4, and during Monday’s protest they set fire to 13 of them.
A total of 176 people were arrested when police stormed three schools in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, where students were holding 82 commandeered vehicles belonging to foreign businesses, state officials said. The police operation, launched in the pre-dawn hours on Monday, was aimed at recovering the more than 50 buses and delivery trucks seized on Oct. 4 and taken to three normal schools in an area of Michoacan populated by Purepecha Indians.
The schools are located in the cities of Cheran and Arteaga, and the town of Tiripetio. Students set 13 vehicles, including buses, patrol cars and private vehicles, on fire. The students had seized vehicles belonging to 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. Continue reading