Clashes between police and members of a radical teachers’ union have left six dead and over 100 people people injured in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca.
Protesters have accused the police of “a massacre.” The police have blamed “violent groups” within the protest movement.
The violence erupted on Sunday when riot police moved in to break up a road blockade near the town of Nochixtlan, about 50 miles from the state capital, also known as Oaxaca. Footage of the moment shows petrol bombs flying as crowds run from the scene and gunfire can be heard.
The union released a statement on Sunday afternoon accusing the police of shooting at them “with direction and viciousness,” and claimed “the people” had “resisted with clean hands.”
An initial government statement countered that the federal police were not carrying weapons and stated “it is known” the shooters were infiltrators in the protest movement. Film shot by reporters at the scene, however, show riot police firing on protesters, though it is not clear whether they are federal of state police.
A second government statement released late on Sunday night was more vaguely worded. It said that “different violent groups” related to the blockades were “mainly to blame” for the violence.