Mexico seeks 57 missing after weekend violence

AP News
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Posted: Sep 29, 2014 9:27 PM
Mexico seeks 57 missing after weekend violence

ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — Authorities were searching Monday for 57 students reported missing after weekend violence left at least six people dead and 25 wounded in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero.

Twenty-two police officers from the city of Iguala were detained in connection with the incidents, Guerrero state prosecutor Inaky Blanco said. He said they denied responsibility but several had been identified by students.

Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca Velazquez and his public safety secretary were being summoned to appear before authorities, Blanco added.

He said military and state authorities were participating in the search for the students from the Ayotzinapa Superior normal school.

Student protesters affiliated with the teachers' college are known for radical activism and hijacking vehicles. On Monday, masked demonstrators marched through the state capital, Chilpancingo, pelting the glass-window entrance to the state congress building with rocks.

The violence Friday night and Saturday in Iguala began when police clashed with students who had seized three buses in a protest. Gunmen later opened fire on at least two taxis on a highway, as well as a bus carrying a local soccer team.

Three of the dead were identified as students. The others were passengers on the bus, including a young soccer player.

The governmental National Human Rights Commission has said it is investigating.

Guerrero, a state with high poverty rates, is also the home of territory hotly contested by drug gangs.

Authorities were also investigating the killing of a regional political leader at a historic hotel in the Pacific resort city of Acapulco.

Braulio Zaragoza Maganda, the National Action Party's secretary general in Guerrero state, was gunned down Sunday in the Mirador hotel, prosecutors' office official Candido Joel Zamudio said.

Joel said several men entered the hotel restaurant where Zaragoza Maganda was eating with family. At least one shot the politician three times.

No suspects were named.

The Mirador is famous for its views of daredevil cliff-diving displays that are one of Acapulco's main tourist attractions.

Elsewhere in Acapulco, five men were shot dead as they left a home Monday, Joel said.