On 26th September last year, 43 student teachers disappeared near Iguala, a small town south of Mexico city. They had been travelling to a protest and were intercepted by corrupt police who then handed them over to a local drug gang. It is thought that the drug gang then murdered the students and burned their bodies to destroy evidence.
Something like 111 people have been arrested, including police officers, drug gang members and the mayor of Iguala (it is though he ordered to abduction), but so far there have been no charges. The president ordered yet another inquiry but the families have had enough and are demanding answers.
Saturday 26th, exactly a year from the events, was my first full day in Mexico City. I headed for the historical Centro district, eager to check out the National Palace, the Templo Major and some of the other cool stuff they have there.
The metro train was very busy, like can’t get the door shut China-in-the-rush-hour busy, although since this was my first time on the Mexico City metro train I really didn’t know what was normal for it.
Turned out there was a big protest planned for the Saturday (something like 40,000 people turned up for it according to the media). I didn’t hang around too long that day. These things have a habit of turning violent and I didn’t want to get caught up in it. Plus I didn’t want to be travelling back on the metro at the same time that all these people also decided to travel back.
The next day I read that some protesters had tried to set fire to the Palace (the president doesn’t actually live there but just holds meetings there from time to time)
I went back on Tuesday, my final full day in the city, and there was still a high police presence. Police with riot shields stood protecting the Royal Palace from any further marauders (so I never did get to see the Diego Rivera murals that are apparently inside).
Ahh well, there’s always another time. I’m not sorry to be moving on. I loved Coyoacan, but found Mexico City generally quite hard work.