Mexico’s president has vowed to launch an all-out battle against a spate of bullying in schools after a 12-year-old boy died from injuries sustained in a beating by classmates.
Hector Alejandro Mendez Ramirez died of head trauma at a hospital on Tuesday, one week after schoolmates slammed him against a wall in front of school staff in the northeastern city of Ciudad Victoria, according to the victim’s family.
The tragedy in Tamaulipas state made national headlines, putting a spotlight on a scourge that the education ministry says is on the rise.
Hundreds of people held a demonstration in Ciudad Victoria on Wednesday, demanding justice over the boy’s death.
Speaking at a regional teacher training centre in Tamaulipas, President Enrique Pena Nieto said he had instructed his education minister to speed up the implementation of a national anti-bullying program.
“Sometimes the bullying that occurs in schools reflects the violence that is experienced outside the schools, in the streets, and this is what we have to fight in a decisive way,” he said, referring to the drug-related crimes plaguing Mexico.
“The fight against school bullying is a cause of the president, of the government, and we are determined to really fight it in an all-out way,” he said.
The National Human Rights Commission opened an investigation into the latest case. The commission says 40 per cent of students reported being bullied in 2013, up from 30 per cent in 2011.