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Protesters use pickup truck to ram down doors of Mexican presidential palace

Protesters employed the use of a pickup truck Wednesday to ram down the doors of Mexico City's historic National Palace, before being dispersed by security.

Protesters commandeered a pickup truck Wednesday and used it to ram down the wooden doors of Mexico City’s National Palace.

They battered down the doors and entered the colonial-era palace, where the president lives and hold his daily press briefings, before they were driven off by security agents. The palace is a historic structure dating back to the 1700s, and was built on the site of the Aztec emperors' palace.

The demonstration, like many others over the years, was called to protest the abduction and murder of 43 students a decade ago.


President Andrés Manuel López Obrador called the protest a provocation, and claimed the demonstrators had sledgehammers and blowtorches.

"This is a movement against us," López Obrador said. "The plan is to create a provocation."

But the president also attempted to downplay the seriousness of the protest, saying "The door will be fixed, it's nothing."

For years, the victims’ families and students at government rural teachers’ colleges have protested the 2014 disappearances. The mass disappearance remains one of Mexico’s most infamous human rights cases.

With López Obrador’s term ending next year, family members face the prospect of a tenth year of not knowing what happened to their sons but fears that the next administration will start the error-plagued investigation over from scratch yet again.

In 2014, a group of students were attacked by municipal police in the southern city of Iguala, Guerrero, who handed them over to a local drug gang that apparently killed them and burned their bodies. Since the Sept. 26 attack, only three of their remains have been identified.

After an initial coverup, last year a government truth commission concluded that local, state and federal authorities colluded with the gang to murder the students in what it called a "state crime."

López Obrador has complained about the involvement of human rights groups, who he claimed have prevented him from speaking directly to the parents of the missing students.

The under-funded radical rural teachers' colleges in Mexico have a decades-long tradition of violent protests. In fact, when they were abducted, the students themselves had been hijacking passenger buses which they were going to use to travel to another protest.

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