MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A German student was shot and wounded when police in southwest Mexico opened fire on the vehicle he was traveling in, authorities said on Monday, the latest violence involving security forces.
The incident took place in Guerrero, the same state where authorities suspect police in league with gang members abducted and massacred a group of trainee teachers in an incident that has sent shockwaves across Mexico.
Police had been chasing a kidnapping gang when they came across the vehicle on Sunday evening near Chilpancingo, the state capital of Guerrero, said Victor Leon, the state’s deputy attorney general.
When the vehicle failed to stop, police opened fire, wounding the student. The police have been detained pending an investigation into the incident.
Leon said the student was in a stable condition in a hospital in Mexico City.
The incident comes two weeks after dozens of trainee teachers went missing in Guerrero on Sept. 26 after clashes with police. Police allegedly linked to a criminal gang shot dead at least three students during the clashes, officials said.
Forty-three of the students are still missing and public anger has swelled since the state government found mass graves filled with burned corpses in the hills outside the city of Iguala. It believes many of the students might be among the victims.
Nearly three dozen people, including at least 22 police officers, have been arrested in connection with that case.
Later on Monday, protesters set fire to state government buildings in Chilpancingo after the workers had left for the day. Television images showed the glass-fronted building engulfed in flames as firefighters tried to extinguish the blaze.
Separately, Mexico’s Attorney General Jesus Murillo has filed murder charges against three soldiers accused of executing 22 suspected gang members in late June.
The violence is overshadowing President Enrique Pena Nieto’s efforts to focus public attention on sweeping economic reforms aimed at boosting economic growth in Latin America’s No.2 economy.
Pena Nieto took office two years ago pledging to end a wave of violence that has killed about 100,000 people since the start of 2007. Although homicides have fallen on his watch, other crimes have increased, including extortion and kidnapping.
Writing by Simon Gardner; Editing by Andre Grenon and Lisa Shumaker