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Parents of Missing Students Injured in Clashes With Soldiers at Mexican Military Base

Two parents of two missing Ayotzinapa students, plus two others, were struck by stones thrown allegedly by military police during clashes on Monday at a base in Iguala, Guerrero, where the September police attacks took place.
Photo by Felix Marquez/AP

Parents and supporters of the missing Ayotzinapa Normal School students on Monday stormed a gate at a Mexican military station in Guerrero state, the latest chaotic protest over the fate of 43 young men who disappeared last September.

At least six people were injured by thrown stones after confrontations took place around noon at the front-door of the 27th Infantry Battalion base, right in the city of Iguala, site of the September 26 police attacks that would go on to spark mass protests across the country.


Protesters who have accused federal and military forces of being involved in the disappearance of the 43 students used a commercial delivery truck to ram through the battalion station gate.

Military police in riot gear responded by using fire extinguishers to push back the protesters, who also threw stones toward the military complex. Witnesses said soldiers responded by throwing the stones in return at the civilian demonstrators.

The injured include three parents of missing Ayotzinapa Normal School students, Mario Gonzalez, Maria Concepción Tlatempa, and Bernabé Garcia; and three students, Sergio Ochoa Campos, Jose Hernandez Peña, and Omar Garcia, the Tlachinollan human rights center said in a statement early Tuesday. One TeleSUR journalist who was reporting at the scene, Raymundo Perez, was also injured.

Garcia later posted a photo on Twitter showing his left eye severely swollen after the protest.

In Photos: The Ayotzinapa Normal School, Before and After the Student Disappearances. See them here.

Fue el ejército! En el 27 batallón. La batalla sigue — Omar García (@Omarel44)January 12, 2015

Above, Ayotzinapa student leader Omar Garcia publishes a photo of his injuries on Twitter.

Other protests against military complexes in Guerrero were held on Monday in Chilpancingo, the capital, and in the tourist port city of Acapulco. Demonstrators set a pick-up on fire just outside the 35th Military Zone base, and others, led by Guerrero teachers, rallied outside Acapulco's naval base.


The parents of the now 42 students who remain missing have in recent weeks ramped up pressure on Mexico's military leaders, accusing them of covering up a possible military link to the Ayotzinapa disappearances.

"We went to the base because we know soldiers participated on September 26," Ayotzinapa parent representative Felipe de la Cruz told VICE News on Monday.

Authorities have repeatedly said that no military personnel were involved in the attacks.

Surviving students of the police attacks, however, have told VICE News that soldiers responded to the scene after the shooting incidents, interrogating a group of students who had taken refuge with an injured companion inside an Iguala clinic.

Guerrillas at Ayotzinapa: Legacy of Armed Movements Present at Mexico Protests. Read more here.

Around 200 people were present at the demonstration at the military base in Iguala, De la Cruz said, which marked the third time that protesters have converged on the 27th Infantry Battalion complex since protests over the disappearances began.

Some of the protesters, which included Guerrero's teachers union, commandeered the delivery truck and used it to break open the barricade at the base's gate. Protesters then streamed inside the complex, but were pushed back by soldiers, De la Cruz said.

Military police threw stones back to the demonstrators. One projectile struck journalist Perez in the head after he had entered the complex alongside the protesters.

"The rocks came from the base," said Perez, who is also a former VICE News producer. "We left when the soldiers started throwing rocks back. They weren't aiming at me, they were throwing at all the protesters."

Watch the full-length VICE News documentary, The Missing 43.

In photo above, parents of the missing students demonstrate before the Iguala military station on Dec. 18, 2014.