Protesters clash with riot police in Mexico City amid anger over 43 missing students believed to have been killed.
Protersters have clashed with riot police near Mexico City’s international police at the start of another day of demonstrations as the country bristled with anger over the presumed massacre of 43 students.
Masked protesters burned tyres, threw firebombs and launched firecrackers at police on Thursday, who used tear gas to disperse the group.
The clashes came after hundreds of protesters blocked the main road to the Benito Juarez airport for an hour, while police patrol cars assisted travellers to reach the airport.
The city braced for a bigger rally later in the day, cancelling the annual parade celebrating the 1910 revolution and erecting metal barriers to protect shops.
Thursday’s was the latest protest over the government’s handling of a crime that has infuriated Mexicans fed up with corruption, impunity and a drug war that has left more than 100,000 people dead or missing since 2006.
The case has turned into the biggest challenge of Enrique Pena Nieto’s nearly two-year-old presidency, on top of another scandal over a mansion his wife bought from a government contractor.
‘Mexico is hurting’
The crisis erupted after the mayor of the city of Iguala allegedly ordered police to confront students on September 26, sparking a night of violence that left six people dead and 43 missing, authorities say.
Prosecutors say corrupt police delivered the 43 young men to members of the Guerreros Unidos drug gang, who confessed to killing and incinerating the students.
Officials stopped short of declaring the students dead pending DNA tests. Federal police teams continue to search for them in the southern state of Guerrero, where the students vanished.
Recent demonstrations have turned violent, with protesters burning the door of the capital’s National Palace and torching government buildings in the state of Guerrero
With the annual parade called off, Pena Nieto led a ceremony with top officials at the Campo Marte military field, where he and the defence minister denounced violent protests.
«Mexico is hurting, but the only path to soothe this pain is through peace and justice,» he said, hours after making all of his personal assets public to quell conflict of interest allegations over his wife’s mansion.
Defence Minister Salvador Cienfuegos said violence «only leads to national failure, social backwardness, ungovernability, instability.»