English translation originally published by Voices in Movement
Voices in Movement Editor’s Note: This report speaks to an attack carried out yesterday by “porros” at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) against participants in a student demonstration. “Porros” are people hired by university authorities or the state to violently smash up student and social mobilizations. With the use of these “porro” plainclothes opposition groups, authorities are able to fulfill their repressive objectives while keeping their hands clean of the violent acts. This specific report comes from Ké Huelga Radio, and the original in Spanish can be found here. All photos taken by Diego Uriarti.
Cutting Class Editor’s Note: The link to the original Spanish report, as well as the host website, did not load when we attempted to follow the hyperlink. When we find the link restored or find the original Spanish elsewhere, we will update this article with the original Spanish as well.
On September 3rd, around 2:30pm, a contingent of students from the College of Sciences and Humanities (CCH) of Azcapotzalco, Naucalpan, Oriente, Sur, along with some high school and other university department faculty students, marched on the campus of University City toward the rectory to submit a petition demanding:
- The renunciation of corrupt, incompetent and complicit authorities with sexual aggressors and harassers
- More and improved academic staff
- Elimination of illegal charges such as the imposition of a $100-peso fee for registration
- Allow the students to have recreational and political activities that permit the collective work of the community
- Do not carry out academic or administrative retaliations against those of us who decide to organize and actively participate in the solution to the problems that afflict our schools
The youth arrived peacefully to the door of the university building, which was closed, as is often the case. There, they began their meeting in which the petition was read by students from CCH Azcapotzalco, who have already completed five days of a strike and achieved the resignation of their university director. The students were accompanied by Aracely Osorio (mother of Lesvy Berlin Osorio), the mother of Carlos Sinue and the mother of Miranda Mendoza, who commented on the necessity for organization and struggle against impunity. There, they affirmed the creation of a popular front of Victims of Violence of UNAM.
Minutes afterwards, at the south of the rectory, beneath the overpass of Insurgentes Avenue, a group of hired opposition (porros) of CCH Naucalpan, Oriente and Azcapotzalco assaulted the students while UNAM security, including Teófilo Licona, who is said to be the “Chief of Security” sat aside apathetically. It is important to mention that UNAM security served as escort for the violent group. Under the overpass of Insurgentes Avenue, which connects with the University stadium, the violent group (porros) were hidden behind fencing until they were instructed to enter. The younger members of the group directly entered the clash. Behind them, were people wearing suits and carrying radios. There were others, who for their apparent physique and age, were clearly not students at the bachelor’s university level. That is in spite of wearing sports jerseys that read: XCH, 31, Azcapotzalco or CCH, 32, Naucalpan or CCH 33.
The “Lenin” of CCH Naucalpan—as was written on the jersey he wore—watched from afar. He was above average height, between 27-30 years old, wearing a white hat, dark sports glasses, blue pants (without signs of frequent use) and orange shoes. Throughout the ordeal, he conversed with those standing aside him who were wearing suits, along with someone else he continually spoke to on his phone. With firecrackers, molotovs, rocks, and knives, the violent group fulfilled their objective. With the aggressions they managed to remove the students from Las Islas. Afterwards though, the students regrouped and returned to repel the aggression.
This confrontation took place for several minutes until the hired opposition (porros) were thrown out of the rectory plaza. They ran toward the parking lot of the University stadium, just behind the security on four wheeled motorcycles.
In the end, there were various injured on the student side, some gravely.
While some students are now in hospitals, the struggle will not cease. The student contingent reorganized themselves and went to the Rosario Castellanos Garden, in the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters (FFyL), to carry out an extraordinary assembly and discuss the steps to follow the aggression.
From that action and at the moment, the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters and the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences are already on a 48-hour strike. Today, September 4th, assemblies have been convoked in nine high schools, four CCHs, 11 university departments, 6 FES and the Postgraduate Unit. The committee of Struggle of the Superior School of Economics of the National Polytechnic Institute have also been added to the actions.
We will remain attentive to the events that follow.
Mexico City. Early morning, September 4th.