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(en) Mexico: UNAM seized by police; hundreds arrested

From Aaron <aarons@usermail.com>
Date Sun, 6 Feb 2000 15:17:47 -0500


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I just spoke to a friend who has been active in the
strike, but was not on campus this morning when the
police seized it. The attack took place while the strike
general council (CGH) was meeting in the Che
Guevara auditorium. Presumably, most members of
the CGH were among those arrested. My friend
estimated that the number arrested was perhaps
1,000, but had no reliable information.

I believe it's important, wherever possible, and as
soon as possible, to organize solidarity actions with
the jailed students, and with those still carrying on the
struggle from the streets. And I don't trust the "no
reports of violence".

- Aaron

Mexican police raid
university campus,
rounding up strikers

February 6, 2000
Web posted at: 10:34 a.m. EST (1534 GMT)

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Hundreds of Mexican police
raided Mexico's main university campus on Sunday,
tearing down barriers and arresting strikers who have
occupied it for nine months.

Mexican television showed images of federal police
on campus, rounding up strikers, including top
leaders. The Televisa network said 300 people had
been arrested. There were no reports of violence.

It was not immediately clear if police had full control
of the 260,000-student National Autonomous
University of Mexico and whether the strike, one of
the Mexican government's most frustrating dilemmas,
was over.

Efforts to negotiate an end to the strike, directed by a
small core of radical students, had repeatedly failed.
But officials were reluctant to take the campus by
force because of fears of violence. One of the
darkest moments in modern Mexican history was a
1968 massacre of striking students.

The strike began in April with students opposed to
plans to raise tuition, which had been just a few
cents, to the equivalent of $140.

The university backed off those plans, but strikers
refused to end their occupation of the campus,
pressing a six-point agenda to reverse academic
changes and give students more power.

The strike has been marked by sometimes-violent
demonstrations which tied up Mexico City's main
streets. Clashes occurred between students for and
against the strike.

Some of the worst violence occurred Tuesday when
anti-strike students, backed up by university security
forces, took control of a university-affiliated high
school. Strikers returned later in the day and retook
the school, injuring 37 security guards. Police then
raided the school, arresting 250 strikers. *

Strike leaders added to their list of demands the
release of those arrested. The university, meanwhile,
obtained arrest warrants for 430 people involved in
the strike.

[Photo caption: Thousands of striking students
and their supporters march in Mexico City on
Friday]
* It was the University's police and thugs controlled
by them -- mostly men over 30 -- and not students,
who attacked the high school. Many of the thugs
were hired off the street for that particular job.

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