Together with Héctor Agredano Rivera, I translated an analysis by Edgard Sánchez Ramírez of the Partido Revolucionario de Trabajadores on the student mobilizations that emerged in response to a recent incident on the UNAM campus in Mexico City that was just published by Socialist Worker.
Earlier this month, 50 years after the state massacre of students
involved in a pro-democracy movement in 1968, students at Mexico’s
National Autonomous University (UNAM) in Mexico City went on strike to
protest a September 3 campus attack against protesters, in which two
students were seriously injured.
The horrific attack was carried out in broad daylight by a violent
group of hooligans, known as “porros.” In response, a massive, strong
student movement has emerged, coinciding with the anniversary of the
emergence of the student movement of 1968.
Historically, porros emerged as hooligans linked to American football
teams in Mexico’s universities and high schools. However, they are
associated with state violence. During 1968, porros were controlled by
the military. Later, they became agents of the state, serving the ruling
Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). In recent years, porros have
operated as thugs for hire, and some of their leaders have posts in
government and university administrations.
The recent attacks took place in the main campus of UNAM, in front of
the administrative building and with collusion of security and
university authorities. These provocateurs sought to disperse a small
protest by high school students. (UNAM’s campuses have some 350,000
students, with 115,000 at the equivalent of high school level.)
The reaction from students has been decisive. The violent attack has
unleashed a new student movement demanding action to uproot these
right-wing gangs from the universities, as well as the resignation of
university authorities complicit in the attacks.
(This is Héctor's introduction. The text of the statement is available online.)