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      Ayotzinapa Solidarity Continues!
      Vancouver Forum Marks One Year Since the Forced Disappearance of the 43 Mexican Students

      By Noah Fine

      On September 26th, 2015, supporters of human rights around the world gathered to keep momentum going one year after the disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students in Iguala, Mexico.

      On September 26th, 2014, a group of students from a small rural community in the state of Guerrero, Mexico called, Ayotzinapa, were traveling to participate in a protest in Mexico, City. Upon arriving in the city of Iguala, police alongside unknown armed men dressed in black laid siege on the students. The siege, which all together lasted more than 3 hours, ended with 6 dead and 43 missing

      The case of the Ayotzinapa 43 has garnered worldwide attention as the government of Mexico continues its attempt to cover up the truth.

      A forum was held in Vancouver organized by Fire This Time Movement for Social Justice to mark this anniversary by calling for justice for the families of the 43 Ayotzinapa students. Fire This Time editorial board member, Tamara Hansen welcomed participants to the forum. The panel of speakers at the forum included, Mexican social justice activists, Montse Rueda who gave a history and chronology of the case of the 43 and Jannu Casanova who spoke about the background of the students and the school they were studying at. Chilean social justice activist Macarena Cataldo and Cuba solidarity activist Noah Fine brought the case of the 43 into the perspective of the Latin American struggle for social justice as well as the world-wide struggle against imperialism respectively. All of the speakers have been active for the last year in the struggle for justice for the 43 students. Leading up to the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of the 43, the government of Mexico released its version of what it says happened on that day. “What the government wanted to do when they came up with this ‘Historical Truth’ was to appease the people by saying ‘Hey, this is the truth, we’ve done our job, let us be, forget about it.’” Stated Montse Rueda in her presentation. “But with all of this international support it was really hard for the government to get away with it. The fact that we had so many people backing up the movement, made it extremely difficult for the government to close this down,” Rueda concluded.

      A dynamic discussion and question period took place after the presenters finished. Participants at the forum left energized with the spirit of the family members of the 43 who have not given up in the search for justice for the 43.

      One year later, the demand of supporters of the 43 around the world continues: “They took them alive, we want them back alive!

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