Thousands of protesters clashed with riot police outside Mexico City’s National Palace and threw Molotov cocktails to protest the alleged massacre of 43 trainee school teachers. They demanded the removal of President Enrique Pena Nieto over the way the government is handling the teachers killing, and over other matters of national concern.

Hundreds of riot police in protective gear restricted access to the palace in Zocalo, the capital’s main square, where the force of aggrieved protesters had assembled to register their displeasure over the killing of the 43 trainee teachers. The killed teachers were abducted in September 26 by the police from Iguala city, and then later found murdered much soon after. The police had been working with a local drug gang when the incident happened.

Having burnt the effigy of President Pena Nieto in Zocalo, the protesters had marched down and incinerated the door of the National Palace, before moving down to the main square where police barricaded the arena. About 300 masked protesters had earlier clashed with police and threw Molotov cocktails and fireworks before the latest fracas.

Most of the demonstrators are friends and relatives of the slain trainee teachers, and most of them carried placards with unprintable inscriptions calling for the removal of the president. Alma Hernandez, a 30-year old domestic worker had her 6-year old daughter with her at the protest march, and according to her, “I’m here because I don’t want anything like that to happen to my daughter. By coming with me, she knows that not everything in the world is rose-tinted, and that not everything the government tells you is true.”

A $3.75 billion high-speed rail contract awarded to a Chinese consortium in league with a Mexican firm was cancelled by the presidency, and the president’s wife, Angelica Rivera, backed down from her earlier proposal to buy up a luxury house owned by a subsidiary company from whom the rail contract was cancelled.

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