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Violence Erupts on Mexican University Campus, Killing Two Graduate Students

Drug violence in Mexico has reached the education sector. A report in the Wall Street Journal recounted the events on March 19 when army soldiers and drug traffickers opened fire on one of the country’s most prestigious universities. When the dust settled, two people – hit men, according to authorities – were left dead.

The bigger shock came after the two bodies were identified not as hit men, but as two graduate students caught in the crossfire at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education.

The deaths on this campus have ignited a storm in Mexico, especially as the army is accused of a cover-up by Monterrey Tech's rector. The cover-up is said to be fueled by the desire to avoid the embarrassment of having killed innocent civilians.

The blunder was highlighted as more than just a mistake when authorities changed their original stance that the two victims were criminals only after the mother of one of the victims identified the body and the university's Rector Rafael Rangel Sostmann notified the press.

In the midst of accusations, the military rejects claims of wrongdoing in the Monterrey deaths, which are under investigation by the government. Gen. Guillermo Moreno Serrano, the army's regional commander, told the Reforma daily last week: "We aren't assassins."

Monterey is a wealthy industrial city near the U.S. border. It is the home of much of the country’s English-speaking business elite. Monterrey Tech is the Mexican equivalent of Harvard or MIT and is the training ground of the country’s ruling class.
 

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