The story that I am writing now is just one of the many that originate daily from corruption, impunity and disinterest on behalf of the Mexican government and its people. It is the story of Ayotzinapa, one that has been publicized on a global scale, much to the relief of our country.
It began the night of the 26th of September 2014 in Iguala, Guerrero. A group of students from the “Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa, Raúl Isidro Burgos” school , took to the streets to raise money in order to travel to Mexico City. Their purpose was to take part in the commemorative march that was to occur in remembrance of the massacre of students that occurred October 2, 1968 in Tlatelolco (area in Mexico City). The first year students were traveling in three buses in order to raise money and move around more easily. At around 8:00pm, police authorities detained these vehicles and shot at the students. An hour later, there was another attack on behalf of the municipal authority where 6 people died. Once the students decided to publicly denounce the police for what they did, there was a third attack that caught them off guard. What was this third attack? Its consequences shocked the country and the world, seeing as this attack resulted the disappearance of 43 students. The authority’s response was mediocre at best. Investigations as to the whereabouts of these students did not start until approximately a week after the 43 students were reported missing. The authorities denied any involvement on behalf of the police, as is to be expected of a country in which the ruling powers do not accept their errors and look to cover all of their acts of oppression over those who think differently than they do. Instead, they chose to blame a well-known drug cartel called “Guerreros Unidos” (United Warriors) and hoped the whole ordeal would be soon forgotten.
News of the incident spread across the country like wildfire, and the Mexican people were furious. After a few days, the Mexican people weren’t the only one to manifest, and all around the world started protesting. There were marches debates and protests held worldwide, the media exploded with videos and people asked the Mexican government for answers. For the first time in many years, they were up in arms; there were marches and demonstrations throughout the country and swarms of protesters gathered in the Zócalo (Center of Mexico City), crying for the President, Enrique Peña Nieto, to give them answers. It is important to highlight the fact that, since September 26, 2014 there have been several marches, protests and demonstrations whose only aim is to encourage the government in finding these students. Hundreds upon thousands of people swarmed the streets leading to the center of Mexico. There were riots for days, and some people insisted that the President should resign, as he has proven to be disinterested and evasive about this episode. The government led a series of faulty and inconclusive investigations, overall trying to avoid the general public and their want for answers. Among many of the excuses presented, particularly notable was the assertion that the bodies of the students were found in a mass grave, incinerated in Cocula, Guerrero. They said that the bodies were burned and that the ashes were so fine that genetic testing was impossible. Also, they have claimed to be certain that the remains were in fact belonging to the students. The Mexican people remain skeptical of these claims.
On the 28th of January, the Attorney General announced that the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero were taken against their will, assassinated, incinerated and had their remains flung into a river by members of the drug cartel-guerrilla group known as Guerreros Unidos. He claimed that they have found evidence that leads them to believe that the remains found are in fact those of the students; however, he said that there was not enough information to provide an exact number of how many bodies were burned in the mass grave. This being said, the government claims to know for certain that the students were murdered and then incinerated. Barnaby Abraham and Hilda Legideño, parents of two of the missing students, traveled to Geneva, Switzerland on the 1st of February of this year. Their purpose was to appeal to the Committee on Enforced Disappearances (2nd and 3rd of February) for aid in their demand that the government provide acceptable answers as to the whereabouts of the students and appropriate punishment to the people responsible for their disappearance.
A normal school is one created to train high school graduates to be teachers. Its purpose is to establish teaching standards or norms, hence its name. Such schools are also referred to as teachers’ colleges.