Friday, December 19, 2014
Radical students and teachers detain Acapulco's mayor, releasing him only after a fierce harangue
Despite the presence of thousands of federal troops and police in Mexico's largest Pacific coast resort the week before Christmas, not even its mayor is safe.
Radical students and teachers seized Acapulco Mayor Luis Walton around noon today, just after he exited a holiday reception ceremony at the city's international airport. Walton is a member of the far left Citizens Movement political party, and was elected in 2012.
As Walton's heavily guarded caravan attempted to drive away, about 400 protesters blocked his vehicle and spray painted its exterior with "murderer" and "remember the 43," in reference to 43 college students who were kidnapped in Iguala, Guerrero on Sept. 26 and presumably executed by corrupt police and drug cartel operatives soon thereafter.
The mayor got out of his vehicle briefly to speak with the protesters, who lambasted him as part of a "government in dissolution." The former governor of Guerrero, Ángel Aguirre, was forced to resign on Oct. 23.
"The blood of the 43 will be avenged"
"Tell me what you have actually done for us?" said one. "Nothing! What we need here is someone who will really help us, who will order the police to help in the search for our missing children. You offer us nothing but more idle talk. I have nothing else to say to you," the man finished angrily.
Another demonstrator, a student, told Walton that he only wanted to "scream in his face" and tell him that young people reject both him and all three levels of Mexico's government, from local to state to federal.
Other students compared Walton to former Iguala mayor José Luis Abarca Velázquez, the alleged mastermind of the student murders, who is now in federal custody awaiting trial on kidnapping and homicide charges.
The protesters held Walton for about 20 minutes before allowing him and his entourage to proceed, but threatened to continue blocking the main highway between Acapulco and its airport daily just as the prime holiday travel season begins. They tried the same strategy Nov. 10. Acapulco International Airport under temporary siege. On the weekend before Christmas average hotel occupancies in the city were reported at barely 50%, the minimum necessary just to cover base operational overhead.
Oct. 16, 2014 - Guerrero "paralyzed"; Acapulco targeted by anarchists
Apr. 26, 2013 - A bankrupt Acapulco can't meet its payroll
© MGR 2014. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced or rewritten without permission.
at 4:32 PM