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Third death in Mexican student protest; victim praised as hero

January 2, 2012 |  4:53 pm

REPORTING FROM MEXICO CITY -- A worker at a gasoline station who struggled to contain fires at the pumps during a violent student protest in Mexico's Guerrero state has died of his injuries, authorities said Monday (link in Spanish).

Gonzalo Rivas became the third person to die as a result of the Dec. 12 protest, an incident that continues to haunt Mexicans because of alleged police brutality. Rivas was portrayed as a hero who braved raging flames to turn off the pumps and prevent a bigger conflagration. He eventually succumbed to his burns.

Also killed that day on a highway near Chilpancingo, capital of Guerrero, were two students, apparently shot by police, although which police force was responsible remains a matter of investigation. Video of the day's events showed police beating detained protesters, most of whom were students from a rural college demanding more funding for their school.


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Photo: Protesters in Mexico City last month demand an investigation into the Dec. 12 killing of students during a violent demonstration in Guerrero state. Credit: Associated Press