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      AYOTZINAPA: the Struggle for Justice Continues
      1 year after the atrocity against 43 innocent students

      By Noah Fine

      One year after the disappearance of 43 Mexican students, disclosure seems as far away as it ever has. Questions pile up while answers are buried and hidden ever deeper in one of the worst state cover-ups and worst state/criminal gang massacres in Mexican history.

      On September 26 th , 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 where the protest was to take place, police alongside unmarked armed men dressed in black laid siege on the students. The siege, which all together lasted more than 3 hours, left an impact on Mexico that will endure ages. At the end of the siege, 6 people were left dead including a 15-year-old boy, a bus driver and a woman in a taxi.

      Many of the students who filled three buses were able to escape, scattering throughout the neighbourhood. However 43 of the students from that fateful day are still missing today. 43 students whose disappearance has sparked mass mobilizations throughout Mexico supported by activities around the world demanding, “They were taken alive, we want them back alive!”

      In the year that has passed since the atrocity, blame for the crimes of September 26 th have been spread far and wide. More than 20 Iguala police officers were arrested with evidence that they, alongside a local drug cartel Guerreros Unidos, were responsible for the killings and disappearances.

      A federal investigation has claimed that Iguala mayor, Jos é Luis Abarca alongside his wife María de los Ángeles Pineda were the ones to blame for giving the orders. A police officer admitted to the investigators he had heard the mayor give orders to the police to “teach them a lesson.” This story drags deeper into the dirt when we learn that the couple is also facing charges for affiliation with drug cartels.

      While reading the story, one thing becomes apparent: nothing is apparent. No one is taking the blame and the Federal Government led by President Enrique Peña Nieto has offered nothing but vague plans of bringing justice to the situation and pointing fingers of blame at the easiest of targets. A poll taken during this year by Parametr í a (Mexican opinion and market analysis poll) concluded that 54% of the population in Mexico believes that the federal government is responsible for resolving the situation and only 26% believe that the federal government will actually be able to resolve it.

      As the government attempts to sweep the crisis under the rug, families still have questions. No matter where the blame finally falls, if it ever does happen to fall, the people of Mexico and especially the families and friends of the missing are left wondering, “where are our 43 young students?”

      The stark reality that the Mexican government has done nothing to resolve the situation becomes clear. It is for this reason that people in Mexico are united in their slogan “Fue el estado!” or “It was the state!”

      The Mexican reality, in history as it is in the case of the missing 43 students is a reality of crimes perpetrated by the state against its people. These 43 Ayotzinapa students were preceded by hundreds of thousands of missing and murdered at the hands of the drug cartels and government of Mexico. All of which have families and communities that are still searching for answers.

      Protest and dissatisfaction in Mexico have led to multiple high-level resignations, plummeting opinions of the government and President Peña Nieto and widespread unrest.

      The government of Mexico backed by the United States with all of its economic interests and “free-trade” agreements expanding in Mexico want to make it clear that they will not tolerate dissent. That they are preparing for a future of unrest in Mexico as the living conditions continue to deteriorate.

      With this in mind the case of the 43 missing students becomes such a significant international issue. The 43 of Ayotzinapa represent the future of Mexico; youth who are struggling for a better future. For this reason the people of Mexico and the families and friends of the 43 need support internationally.

      Around the world, including here in Canada, solidarity campaigns with the 43 missing Ayotzinapa students have continued. Global tours with family members as well as monthly actions have been ongoing. The job of the international community is to keep up pressure on the government of Mexico and spread the news of the case of the 43 Ayotzinapa students far and wide.

      Today, one year after the atrocity, we have not forgotten them. The struggle for the 43 Ayotzinapa students represents the future of all of us. We say today as we said one year ago: “They were taken alive, we want them back alive!

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