Clash leaves one dead in Mexico teacher protest
A clash between Mexican police and teachers who blocked Acapulco's airport left one demonstrator dead, while seven officers were injured when they were struck by the protestors' bus, officials have said.
Acapulco: A clash between Mexican police and teachers who blocked Acapulco's airport left one demonstrator dead, while seven officers were injured when they were struck by the protestors' bus, officials have said.
Some 5,000 protestors demanding better pay and justice in the case of 43 missing trainee teachers had been preventing access to the Pacific resort city's airport for six hours on Tuesday when riot police intervened.
"Unfortunately, I have confirmation of one death. I couldn't determine the cause, but it was a person with head trauma who was being transported in an ambulance," Raul Miliani, an official for civil protection in Guerrero state, told Radio Formula yesterday.
Manuel Rosas, a spokesman for the CETEG teachers union, said the man was 65-year-old retired teacher Claudio Castillo and that he had been hit by police officers.
"He had health problems, problems moving around," Rosas said. While he was getting medical attention, "a group of federal police removed the paramedics and continued to hit him," Rosas said, citing witnesses.
Authorities released 99 of 106 people who were detained during the protest, a federal official told AFP. Prosecutors are deciding how to charge the seven others.
The interior ministry said police had tried to talk the protestors into reopening access to the airport. It did not say how many people were arrested.
"The reaction of the protestors was to attack the police contingent with a bus that they had used for their transportation," the ministry said in a statement late Tuesday.
The demonstrators also threw rocks and other objects at the police, the statement said.
Seven officers were injured when they were struck by the bus and five demonstrators were hurt in the scuffle, the ministry said.
Rosas, however, said the union had nothing to do with the bus attack and he accused the police of repressing the protest and using "excessive force."
He said the protest was held after a federal official failed to show up at negotiations over their wages.
Angry at the retired teacher's death, a group of CETEG members marched yesterday in Guerrero's capital, Chilpancingo.
The CETEG union has held several protests demanding better conditions for teachers in impoverished states. They have also led demonstrations to demand the return of the 43 college students missing and presumed dead.