Last week a medical student named Eric Andrade Ramirez was fatally shot, by cartel members, while on the job at a hospital where he worked. The tragic incident took place in the state of Durango, and it has since sparked a series of intense protests against the Mexican government (for their lack of protection) and the feuding cartels. What was once a growing problem has become a serious epidemic that has caused the national government and the president of the Mexican Association of Medical Schools to intervene in hopes of presenting the public with a safe resolution, starting with the prospect of relocating medical students to safer areas so that they can fulfill their community service requirement in peace. Still, the notion of getting snatched up by the cartel at any given time has several medical students on high alert as several reports have begun to surface of kidnappings where undergraduates have been forced to steal medical supplies and deliver them to criminal organizations while they are still at a bloody crime scene.
“We were always worried for our security,” said Adonai Esparza, a 28-year-old who was once forced to give medical attention to a drug boss’s son while two gunmen oversaw the procedure back in 2019. “After that, I felt a bit strange. I realized I had security but not the security that I had expected.”
Incidents like this have forced several medical students in Mexico to vacate their assigned destination for community service out of fear for their safety. Therefore, the Universidad Autónoma de Durango (aka the University of Durango) has vowed to reassign about 180 of its students to neighborhoods with less gang activity until the government can find a sustainable way to protect them.
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