Mexico: Government Palace in Guerrero Burned Down by Normalistas

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Normalista students held a protest in front of the government palace in Guerrero yesterday which ended in the students entering the building and burning it down. Their only demand is that the 43 students disappeared in Iguala be returned alive.

The government palace in Guerrero goes up in flames

The government palace in Guerrero goes up in flames

“Iguala Guerrero cradle of assassins”

Sign: "Iguala Guerrero cradle of assassins" Photo: @EzequielFloresC

Sign: “Iguala Guerrero cradle of assassins” Photo: @EzequielFloresC

Heavy clashes took place between riot police and normalista students from Ayotzinapa together with members of CETEG at one of the entrances of the government palace.

Normalista students and CETEG members clash with riot cops at one of the palace entrances.

Normalista students and CETEG members clash with riot cops at one of the palace entrances.

Normalista students and CETEG members clash with riot cops at one of the palace entrances.

Normalista students and CETEG members clash with riot cops at one of the palace entrances.

Around 11am local time, students took control of five exits to the palace in Chilpancingo, preventing entry/exit of employees. According to a report from La Jornada, students launched some rockets, broke windows and removed barbed wire from the walls of a security station.

Students removed barbed wire from the walls of the government palace. Photo: Lenin Ocampo

Students removed barbed wire from the walls of the government palace. Photo: Lenin Ocampo

Normalistas block all exits to the government palace in Guerrero. Photo: Israel Díaz Agencia IRZA

Normalistas block exits to the government palace in Guerrero using shopping carts. Photo: Israel Díaz Agencia IRZA

Around 4pm local time women were evacuated from inside the palace. Authorities at the time said more than 1500 employees remained inside the building. Those who were evacuated later advised that the state police were not letting people leave the building. La Jornada reported that around 4:30pm local time, “bureaucrats and citizens” left the building and began throwing stones at the protesters who reacted by also throwing stones. No one was injured.

READ: Violence in Guerrero, Missing Students, Clandestine Graves and Mass Confusion

Women & children are evacuated from the government palace in Guerrero. Photo: Israel Díaz Agencia IRZA

Women & children are evacuated from the government palace in Guerrero. Photo: Israel Díaz Agencia IRZA

Normalistas maintaining control of the government palace gates assist the elderly & disabled to evacuate the building. Photo: Israel Díaz Agencia IRZA

Normalistas maintaining control of the government palace gates assist the elderly & disabled to evacuate the building. Photo: Israel Díaz Agencia IRZA

Secretary of Finance Jorge Salgado escapes the siege of the normalistas:

Students brace for confrontation with police:

Photo: @EzequielFloresC

Photo: @EzequielFloresC

Students which had retreated to the Technological Institute of Chilpancingo, about 100 meters from the palace, faced off with 400 riot cops. Minutes later, the students seized a truck from the Bimbo company, which they flipped over and set on fire; the soldiers did not intervene. The protesters threw stones at the riot police, who did not respond and instead, retreated.

Photo: Israel Díaz Agencia IRZA

Photo: Israel Díaz Agencia IRZA

Shortly after the above photo was taken students flipped over a delivery truck and set it on fire in front of the police line as seen in this video:

After the truck was set on fire students returned to the palace and entered, ransacking the building. Normalista students and teachers of CETEG, began throwing stones and sprayed gasoline inside the three floor building in Tierra Caliente, which was then set on fire and burned down almost entirely. Office equipment, computers and stationery were consumed by the fire.

“The protest and indignation of the normalistas of Ayotzinapa
at the disappearance of their colleagues”

Firefighters arrive to put out the flames. Photo: Israel Díaz Agencia IRZA

Firefighters arrive to put out the flames. Photo: Israel Díaz Agencia IRZA

Students did quite a lot of damage to the building although it seems the building was evacuated well in advance of the fires. ”This is just beginning,” said one of the students participating in the protest.

Later around 6:20pm local time, members of the CETEG and students stormed the city hall in the center of the city, where they broke windows on the ground floor and basement and burned registry, foreign relations and communications offices.

The governor of Guerrero, Angel Aguirre held a press conference in front of the still burning palace around 9:30pm local time, accompanied by the mayor of Chilpancingo, Mario Moreno Marcos. They called for peace and tranquility and a dialogue with the normalista students, stressing that violent acts do not help to find the missing 43 students.

UNAM & UPN schools announced last night they will hold a 48 hour strike in support of the normalista students of Ayotzinapa and a march will be held today in Guerrero.

Bus routes were canceled last night in Michoacan after reports surfaced that the normalista students had taken 35 buses. Taking buses for transportation is a common practice for the normalistas and they usually return them after they have used them along with financial compensation for the drivers if they are able to offer any. 35 buses however is a lot of vehicles to take and we are not sure if they’ve ever taken that many in the past.

This morning La Silla Rota reported that at least 30 buses of normalistas had arrived in Guerrero from Michoacan to participate in a march in Chilpancingo for the 43 students who are still missing from Iguala. Reports vary that they have taken somewhere between 15 – 30 buses to arrive at the protest. We will continue coverage and post updates as soon as they are available.

Sources:
La Jornada
El Golfo
La Silla Rota
Agencia IRZA

About Author

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