Thousands of protesters continued flooding the streets of Mexico on Monday as they rioted over corruption, violence and the government's handling of the case of 43 missing students. Armed with Molotov cocktails, metal pipes and spray paint, protesters blocked roads and burned buildings to express their discontent ahead of a larger strike planned for Thursday.
More than 400 relatives and classmates of the students left last week on a seven-day, three-bus convoy protest, the Latin American Herald Tribune reported. One went north, one went south, and one went southwest. The protesters planned to meet at a massive rally in the capital on Thursday, the 104th anniversary of the beginning of the Mexican Revolution. "Alive they were taken. Alive we want them back," the rioters chanted, according to Al-Jazeera.
Activists said the mayor of Iguala in Guerrero state ordered police to stop the students from protesting education reforms at a speech his wife was giving Sept. 26, the Washington Post reported. The police allegedly gave the students over to Guerreros Unidos, a drug cartel Mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife have been linked to, and asked the gang to murder them.
Mexicans have blamed the federal government for its inaction regarding the case. But many see it as a broader example of the government not caring about its people's problems, Vox reported. "There is a national emergency. This is clear," protester José Alcaraz told CNN. "There is a decomposition of the Mexican state."
Many people were outraged last week after federal Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam told reporters he was tired of their questions at a Nov. 7 press conference where he announced gang members had confessed to the students' murders. Their bodies were burned at a garbage dump in a fire that lasted 14 hours, Murillo said, and anything that remained was thrown into the San Juan River in garbage bags. DNA testing to confirm this is in progress.
The situation was further complicated Saturday when police shot two student protesters at Mexico City's Autonomous University, the Latin Times reported.
Photos from Mexico and around the world appeared on social media Monday:
— Nadir Bouhmouch نادر (@LeJebly) November 17, 2014
— manuel rueda (@ruedareport) November 16, 2014
Protest art in Mexico City: paintings of the students pic.twitter.com/Ll1zTR4vAv
— Emily Parker (@emilydparker) November 16, 2014
It's still going off at the university center in Mexico City. More riot police vehicles still on their way there. pic.twitter.com/vr8hAyShxl
— ⒶTony tren al SUR☭ (@MexicAnarchist) November 16, 2014
Chilpancingo, Mexico: Fire in the City Congress building during a riot against the murders of 43 trainee teachers pic.twitter.com/5uybySYNlM
— Stratos Moraitis (@stratosmoraitis) November 15, 2014
Riot police arrive at roadblocked highway outside Mexico City pic.twitter.com/F8HBXiQOeK
— Joshua Partlow (@partlowj) November 14, 2014