Crisis over missing students signals Mexico tipping point

Students in California are warming up for further protests against the UC regents plan for statewide tuition fee increases. Peaceful demonstrations are a rite of passage for college kids – an extracurricular activity teaching civil society and civic engagement lessons. But when hard battle lines are drawn and passions get high, the stakes get higher. Protests become exercises in civil disobedience, full of pushing matches or mass arrests.

Demonstrators march last Sunday in Mexico City to protest the disappearance of 43 students in the state of Guerrero. Marco Ugarte The Associated Press

Demonstrators march last Sunday in Mexico City to protest the disappearance of 43 students in the state of Guerrero. Marco Ugarte The Associated Press

They can also get extremely violent. Down the road in Mexico, student protests have a history of turning into blood sport. In 1968, student protests there turned into the Tlatelolco massacre. The official number of students killed ranges between 30 and 300, with still no reliable accounting. The 1968 events remain an open social wound in Mexico. (read more)