Latin America & Caribbean

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. Image copyright AFP
Image caption A burning car next to a slogan reading "If there is no justice for the people, there shall be no peace for the government"

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

They accused the government of involvement in the murder of 43 students in the town of Iguala in September.

The protest came after the attorney general said gang members had confessed to the killings.

He said the students were killed by the criminals acting on police orders.

Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said three alleged gang members had claimed the students were handed over to them by police.

They said some were already asphyxiated and they shot the others dead, before setting fire to all the bodies.

Bags found near river

The suspects from the Guerreros Unidos drug gang were recently arrested in connection with the disappearances.

Mr Murillo warned that it would be difficult to identify the charred remains and that authorities would continue to consider the students as missing until DNA tests confirmed the identities.

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Media captionMexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo: ''I know that the information we have obtained causes great pain in the families''

Mr Murillo showed videotaped confessions by the suspects who said they had loaded the students into dumper trucks and taken them to a landfill site in Cocula, a city near Iguala.

About 15 of the students were already dead when they arrived and the rest were shot, according to the suspects.

Mr Murillo said the bodies were then burned with petrol, tyres, firewood and plastic in an inferno that lasted for 14 hours.

The case has shocked Mexico. The protests on Saturday in Chilpancingo echoed weeks of protests across the country where demonstrators have insisted there is collusion between officials and organised crime, along with government inaction.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Masked protesters were armed with petrol bombs in Chilpancingo
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Demonstrators support the families of the missing students in the main square in Mexico City on Saturday

'Enough, I'm tired'

A phrase used by Mr Murillo to abruptly conclude his press conference on Friday has gone viral on social media.

He told journalists "Ya me canse", meaning "Enough, I'm tired".

The phrase became a hash tag on social networks and is being seen in graffiti, political cartoons and videos online.

Variations of the phrases were tweeted: "Enough, I'm tired of Murillo Karam," or "If you are tired, why don't you resign?".

Other people used it to vent their frustrations, protesting "Enough, I'm tired of living in a narco-state" or "Enough, I'm tired of corrupt politicians".

The missing students from a teacher training college in Ayotzinapa in Guerrero state had travelled to nearby Iguala to protest against what they said were discriminatory hiring practices, and to collect funds for their college.

But they went missing after clashes with the police.

More than 70 people have been arrested in connection with the disappearances, including the Mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca, and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda, who were detained in Mexico City last Tuesday.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The students are said to have been taken to this rubbish tip outside Cocula

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