Mexico missing students: President's palace set on fire by protesters as attorney-general says 'Enough, I'm tired'

Protesters are demonstrating against the government's response to the abduction of 43 students

The office of the Mexican president has been set alight as public anger intensifies over the government's response to the apparent murder of 43 trainee teachers by a drug gang.

The violence comes after the country’s attorney general caused fury among the public with his throwaway remark about the case.

Jesus Murillo Karam, speaking at a press conference on Friday, fielded questions on the case for an hour, before saying, "Ya me canse" or, "Enough, I'm tired".

Within hours the phrase was trending on Twitter and other social media sites. It is now being used as a rallying call for those who are demonstrating against the government’s handling of the case.

mex-new-1.jpg
A demostrator waves a Mexican flag at the main entrance of the Mexican National Palace

 

On Saturday evening what had been peaceful protests in Mexico City turned violent when the National Palace, which houses the office of the president, was set on fire by demonstrators carrying torches.

Protesters had earlier used a metal police barricade as a battering ram to try to enter the building. Police eventually pushed them back, before they breached the doors.

palace_2.jpg
Demostrators set fire the door of the main entrance of te Mexican National Palace during a demostration in Mexico City on November 8, 2014, demanding justice from the Mexican goverment

 

Before the attorney general's ill-judged attempt to wrap up his conference, he had told the press that suspects had led authorities to rubbish bags that are believed to contain the incinerated remains of the abducted students.

Many are using the recently coined "Ya me canse" hashtag to express their frustration with Mexico’s politicians; with people writing messages expressing their tiredness with their corrupt representatives and living in a state riven by drug violence.

 

Others pointed out that if the attorney general was so tired he could always resign.

Since the disappearance of the students in September, from a rural college in Guerrero state, Mexicans have reacted with outrage at the government’s response and its inability to fully explain what happened.

The case has proved a focal point for citizens’ anger in a country where almost 100,000 people have died in the past seven years due to organised crime.

mex-new-2.jpg
Demostrators lie down in the floor simulated the missing students in front of the main entrance of the Mexican National Palace

 

On Saturday, protesters burned several cars and trucks outside the governor's offices in Chilpancingo, the Guerrero capital where demonstrations over the students' disappearance have already escalated into violence on several occasions.

Investigators say police were ordered to confront the students, who had gone to Iguala to raise money, by the town’s mayor, Jose Luis Abarca, and his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda Villa.

The couple reportedly feared the students would disrupt an event they were holding.

Iguala police fired on the students in two incidents, killing six people. Officers then allegedly turned over 43 arrested students to a local drug gang.

The attorney general said that members of the gang confessed to killing the students before burning their bodies and tossing the ashes and bone fragments into a river.

At least 74 people have been arrested, including the mayor of Iguala and his wife, who were found on Tuesday in Mexico City.

Families of the missing students insisted they will continue to believe their sons are alive until authorities prove the recovered remains are theirs. The bone fragments are to be sent to a specialist lab in Austria for testing.

Manuel Martinez, a spokesman for the families, said the "YaMeCanse" rallying cry was proof that their demands for answers is gaining strength.

mex-new-3.jpg
A demonstrator tries to tear down the main entrance of the National Palace at the Main Square

 

"The people are angered and I hope that they continue support us," he said on Saturday.

Filmmaker Natalia Beristain, who has been posting videos on the internet, said: "Senor Murillo Karam, I, too, am tired.

"I'm tired of vanished Mexicans, of the killing of women, of the dead, of the decapitated, of the bodies hanging from bridges, of broken families, of mothers without children, of children without fathers."

"I am tired of the political class that has kidnapped my country, and of the class that corrupts, that lies, that kills," she added. "I, too, am tired."

Additional Reporting by AP

Comments