Mass marches planned across Mexico

General strike called as part of drive against violence and corruption amid lack of progress in missing-students case.

The disappearance of the 43 students in September has spurred violent protests in the country [Reuters]

A general strike has been called in Mexico and protest marches are planned across the nation as part of an ongoing campaign against violence and corruption in the country.

The protests began in response to the disappearance of 43 students in Guerrero state in September.

Authorities announced earlier this month that gang suspects had confessed to killing the students, incinerating their remains and tossing them in a river after receiving them from corrupt police.

However, there is a lack of evidence when it comes to final confirmation of the deaths.

The incident spurred a series of protests in which marchers burned government buildings in demonstrations against the authorities’ handling of the case. Another march is now planned for Thursday.

Al Jazeera’s Rob Reynolds, reporting from Mexico City, said people were growing tired of the perceived widespread corruption and impunity in Mexico.

“There is a general sense among the people in Mexico that something needs to change quickly,” he said.

“How and when is an open question, however, the links between corrupt politicians and drug mafias is a complex one with a web of alliances.

“The rule of law is so widely flouted and impunity is so widespread it is difficult to see how this situation could be remedied in the short term – it is something that might take generations.”

Tens of thousands or people are expected to march later on Thursday, our correspondent said.

“Five thousand federal and Mexico City officers have been deployed to keep an eye on the marches,” he said.

“They have said their mission is not to confront the protesters, but to contain them and watch over the marches.”

Some politicians have called on President Enrique Pena Nieto to resign – something Al Jazeera’s Reynolds said was unlikely to happen.

Nieto has come under increasing pressure since the presumed massacre of the students and a more recent uproar over reports his wife bought a multimillion-dollar house in a posh Mexico City neighbourhood from a government contractor.

He has, however, maintained that the protests are part of an orchestrated campaign designed to derail economic reforms put in place by his government.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies