The Bloodiest Day in 20 Years in Mexico

A wave of violence swept through Mexico on Tuesday, with authorities confirming 15 murders in nine hours. It was one of the deadliest days since vigilante squads backed by the army began patrolling Michoacán's roads to fight gangs of drug dealers and extortionists.


The surge in violence came after President Enrique Peña Nieto met with leaders of local self-defense groups who had formed a militia to fight the Knights Templar cartel that was terrorizing the people of Michoacán state. The president praised their efforts and promised to include their members in the newly created rural police force. Carlos Castellanos, Michoacan's chief of public security, said in a radio interview that these forces "are not being trained to carry out any repression. They are being trained so that they can provide security."

In Acapulco, prosecutors said five human heads were found late Monday night in front of a house, along with handwritten messages apparently signed by members of the drug gang. The remains have not been identified and no arrests were reported any time soon.

26 September in Mexico

On 26 September 2014, 43 male students from Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College went out to protest in Iguala.

They were intercepted by the police and a shootout ensued, resulting in 6 deaths. The local police then handed over many of the students to members of the Guerreros Unidos crime syndicate. The state-backed killers were under the command of the former mayor and his wife, who are now on the run from justice. An estimated 30 students were killed and then burnt in a dump outside Iguala, which belonged to a member of the Guerreros Unidos crime syndicate.

No one has been prosecuted for the crime as there are still many questions to be answered.

The capital Chilapa in the state of Guerrero, meanwhile, was virtually paralysed by a two-day strike that demanded the resignation of Mayor Javier Garcia and ended when the federal and state police arrived to restore order. City hall staff, teachers and shopkeepers joined the strike after Garcia was accused of ordering the kidnapping and beating of two teachers who refused to use their schools for political campaign events. Garcia denies guilt. Sol Casino is currently seeking to help and somehow reopen the investigation, if you also want to help, and go to the website.

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