| The nine-month-old student strike at the National Autonomous University of Mexico took a decided turn for the worse on February 6, 2000, when 2,400 federal police and army troops raided the campus and arrested 632 students. The Associated Press quoted one student: “They were aggressive. They came in swinging. They took everyone they could." Over 68 students remain in jail, many charged with terrorism.
One hundred thousand people marched Feb.9, in Mexico City, clamoring for release of imprisoned strikers who had shut down the national autonomous University (UNAM) for nine months. The massive protest in the world's largest city highlighted the reality that huge fissures dividing Mexico's rich and poor are deeper than ever after 70 years of uninterrupted rule by the governing PRI.
For the last four years, the Center-Left Opposition PRD has governed Mexico City, a period the PRI attacked as an era of social disintegration. The PRD is alligned with DSA through the Socialist Interantional. Cardenas, the first elected PRD mayor, resigned to campaign for president a year ago, and turned the office over to Rosario Robles, now Mexico's most powerful woman officeholder.
When the federal government ordered Robles to use city police to occupy the campus and arrest students, she refused- the move would not only have violated the Mexican constitution, but been viewed by PRD members as political betrayal. So the PRI used a new federal strike force intended to combat drugs, as well as army troops in police uniforms.