Mexico: #1DMX Protests End in Police Brutality

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Tens of thousands of people across Mexico and around the world participated in #1DMX protests demanding justice for the 43 missing students from Ayotzinapa on December 1st, marking the 2 year anniversary of Enrique Peña Nieto’s presidency.

Actions demanding justice in the Ayotzinapa case were held in over 60 locations in Mexico including Tijuana, Sonora, Nuevo Leon, Jalisco, Tamaulipas, Quintana Roo, Yucatan, Morelos, Tabasco, Oaxaca, Atequiza, Merida, Acapulco, Cancun, Cuernavaca, Chilpancingo, Veracruz and the main event… a megamarch in Mexico City from the Zócalo to Ángel de la Independencia. International solidarity actions also took place in Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, Germany, London, Paris, and Greece.

Protesters took over an airport in Oaxaca during the day, disrupting travel and redecorating the walls. Protesters caused airport authorities to suspend all flights due to security reasons when they reached the boarding gates.

“#1DMX the Oaxaca Airport is taken, all flights suspended.”

“Flights are suspended for security protocol Airport #Oaxaca SSPO coordinated with airport authorities PF and PGR”

Protesters in Chilpancingo hit more government buildings for #1DMX. Normalistas and teachers from CETEG broke into government offices, caused some destruction and took documents. Some police vehicles were set on fire, others were commandeered by protesters.

The #1DMX marches were entirely peaceful and included many families and mothers with children. There were no issues in Mexico City until the very end of the protest when a few incidents of property damage occurred which caused a violent response by granaderos. The end of the event was repressed by the federal police who kettled peaceful protesters, beat bystanders and arrested several students from IPN and UNAM.

VIDEO: Mother beaten by police gives testimony

GDF Policemen beat Marabunta Brigade rescuers helping the injured in #RompeElMiedo marches Photo: Marcela Zendejas from Article 19

Marabunta Brigade was one of several organizations who took an active role in the #1DMX protest. Human rights defenders from CDHDF and CNDH marched with the protesters and monitored human rights abuses throughout the day. When the police charged the protest later in the evening, human rights defenders formed a wall protecting the protesters and preventing the police from making arbitrary detentions.

The image below has gone viral in Mexican networks. Our sources in Mexico tell us this was the first time these organizations have participated in protests in this manner so people were very surprised, and impressed with their actions. Social media erupted in praise for the actions of the human rights defenders who participated in #1DMX.

Protesters reactivated a hashtag that had been used previously in 2013 to denounce human rights issues. The network #RompeElMiedo (break the fear) is a joint platform used by media and human rights defenders with the objective of protection and safety in covering demonstrations and protests in Mexico.

#RompeElMiedo started trending shortly before the police repression and advised protesters of police locations in areas around Ángel de la Independencia so that they could exit the protest area safely without being arbitrarily detained or arrested. Protesters also used this hashtag to alert human rights defenders of arrests and injuries.

“The area in red is full of granaderos. Avoid the area.”

Shortly after the tag started trending, bots began flooding the trend with tweets, effectively neutralizing the hashtag. The use of bots is well known in Mexican networks, some people call them #PeñaBots. It is common to see trends of bots in Mexican networks tweeting small spurts of identical tweets. However the hijacking of #RompeElMiedo was deliberate, forceful and continued long into the night.

#RompeElMiedo successfully documented human rights abuses and prevented many more from occurring. Article 19 released a statement today denouncing 28 incidents and the use of disproportionate force on peaceful protesters:

The #RompeElMiedo network, composed of media and collective human rights defenders, documented that once the #1DMX ended, the Ministry of Public Security (SSPDF) repeated the pattern of the use of disproportionate and indiscriminate force against peaceful protesters, bystanders, journalists and human rights defenders. These violations consisted of illegal deprivation of liberty, or “encapsulation” (police kettle) – and injuries.
28 documented attacks against journalists and supporters at the end of the day (23:00)
 

Comité Cerezo México released a list of the detainees today, some have been released. Students from IPN and UNAM are protesting today demanding the release of the rest of their friends.

List of protesters detained at #1DMX

List of protesters detained at #1DMX

Protesters marched in Chilpancingo today and also took over Televisa facilities today in Mexicali, Baja California to broadcast messages from the normalistas of Ayotzinapa.

There are actions everyday in Mexico demanding justice for Ayotzinapa. Toll booths are taken, roads are blocked, banks and businesses are closed down. Protests are just not stopping in Mexico. We will continue to follow events as they develop.

About Author

Erin Gallagher is a multimedia artist, translator and writer for Revolution News.