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Higher Ed in the News

Slain Mexican graduate students memorialized

March 24, 2010

Jorge Antonio Mercado Alonso and Javier Arredondo Verdugo, both mechanical engineering graduate students at the Technological Institute of Higher Learning of Monterry, were shot to death March 19 in a firefight between Mexican army soldiers and gangsters who had sought refuge on the university campus.

Mercado, 23, and Arredondo, 24, were scholarship recipients about to graduate with degrees in manufacturing systems. They had been working late at the school library Thursday night.

They left the library and found themselves in the middle of a violent firefight. Mexican soldiers were chasing criminals who had fled onto the campus after firing on an army patrol.

Mexico has been gripped in massive drug-related bloodshed since President Felipe Calderon declared war on the cartels shortly after coming into office in December 2006.

The area where the deaths occurred -- Monterrey, Nuevo Leon state -- borders Texas, and has seen bloody fighting between the Zetas and Gulf cartels after a recent gangland slaying.

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Read the full story from CNN.