On September 26th, 2014 a group of about 100 students from a small rural community in the state of Guerrero, Mexico called, Ayotzinapa, were traveling to participate in a protest. Upon arriving in the city of Iguala, police alongside Mexican drug Cartel thugs from Guerreros Unidos laid siege on the students. The siege, which all together lasted more than 3 hours, left 6 people dead including a 15-year-old boy, a bus driver and a woman in a taxi. After the dust settled 43 young students had been disappeared.
In the past two years since the tragic incident, the remains of two of the students who were disappeared have been recovered. The whereabouts of the other 41 youth remain well hidden in Mexico’s greatest state cover-up.
However while the Government of Mexico works to bury the truth ever deeper, the people of Mexico led by families and friends of the 43 missing youth continue to work tirelessly to unbury the truth. What these fighters for truth and justice have uncovered in the last two years shows the dark reality of the Mexican State.
In their search, more than 60 mass graves have been uncovered containing the remains of between 10 and over 100 people each. According to the Toronto Star more than 28,000 Mexican people mostly youth are believed to have been disappeared and over 100,000 murdered by the police, military and drug cartels. The 43 missing students are just the latest in the Mexican governments brutal war against its own people.
The 43 missing youth were student teachers from a small school in Ayotzinapa. The school serves a community that could not otherwise afford an education and these 43 students were studying to become teachers to carry on the tradition of educating Mexico’s poorest and most underprivileged communities.
The very nature of their disappearance and the Mexican governments participation in their disappearance is an attack on the future of Mexico. These 43 students represented the struggle for a better life for people in Mexico. They were fighters for equality and justice for the millions of poor and oppressed people of Mexico.
For that reason hundreds of thousands of people in Mexico have taken to the streets over the past two years supported by actions from around the world demanding the government of Mexico release the truth of what happened the night they were disappeared.
Throughout the course of the families search for justice, supported by agencies from around the world helping to investigate the crime the governor of Guerrero State has had to step down for his role in covering up the tragedy as it was uncovered that he gave the orders to the police to attack the students. The head of the government commission to investigate the incident was also forced to step down under suspicion of tampering with evidence related to the crime.
Every further light that has been shed on the crime illuminates deeper what the families of the 43 were already sure of from the beginning: “Fue el estado”, or “it was the state.”
Two years since the tragedy the families and friends of the 43 are as steadfast as ever in their pursuit of justice. Their demands are clear when they chant “They took them alive, we want them back alive!”
However the Mexican government is also persistent in its’ attempts to bring the case to a close announcing the ‘historical truth’ of what happened has been resolved. In reality, the Mexican government knows what the people of Mexico know, if the truth of what happened to the 43 students is uncovered, uncovered as well will be the collusion between the State and drug cartels… the connection of the state to the tens of thousands of disappeared in Mexico and the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
The fight for justice and truth of the families and friends of the 43, backed by millions of people in Mexico must continue to be a world-wide struggle.
Two Years after the brutal forced disappearance of the 43 we continue to demand:
Vivos se los llevaron! Vivos los queremos!
They took them alive! We want them back alive!
Follow Noah Fine on Twitter:@noahfine
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