October 2015        

Ayotzinapa: The forty-three students remembered

Seán Edwards

On the 26th of September last year Mexican police murdered six students from the teacher training college of Ayotzinapa in Guerrero state, wounded forty, and kidnapped another forty-three. These forty-three students were never seen again. One year later their fate is still unknown, in spite of intensive investigations or, more likely, a pretence of investigations.
     What has been exposed is the government’s immediate and persistent attempt to cover up the crime and to promote a lying account. They wanted us to believe that it was the responsibility of the mayor of Iguala (the town where the atrocity took place), that the students were handed over to drug-traffickers, who killed them and burnt their bodies in a rubbish dump. A report by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights this September shows that this sequence of events is impossible and could not have taken place.
     This makes it clear that it was indeed a crime of the state.
     The phoney “War on Drugs” carried out in association with the United States has had little impact on the drugs trade. Meanwhile Mexico has been suffering an epidemic of violence and disappearances—25,000 in the last ten years. The Ayotzinapa students are some of these: the search for their bodies unearthed a number of mass graves. The Mexican state and the three main political parties have been shown to be intimately associated with the drug cartels.
     The year has been marked by the heroic persistence of their parents and families, who have never accepted the official version. They have never ceased their demands for truth and justice. On the 26th of every month people throughout Mexico and, increasingly, around the world have voiced their support.
     On the first anniversary, demonstrations in cities throughout the world marked an international day of indignation in solidarity with the families. In Dublin the Latin American Solidarity Centre added its voice outside the Mexican embassy in Ballsbridge.

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