On 26 September, protests were held in several cities in Mexico as well as abroad to commemorate the forcible disappearance of the 43 students of the Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, which took place on 26 September of last year, and to demand justice. The parents of the students marched in Mexico City after holding a 43-hour hunger strike, and subsequent to a meeting with the president in which they presented 8 demands that were dismissed.
At the Zócalo of the capital, the parents of the disappeared thanked all those who supported them in their time of need. One of the parents, Epifanio Álvarez, expressed gratitude for the popular support, saying, “Here we are standing upright. If they will kill us, we will face them directly. Our sons are innocent. We will struggle for them and the thousands of other disappeared. Thanks to all who continue to struggle in the rain supporting us.” The claims were that the authorities have done nothing concrete to return the students, and that they do not accept the government’s equivocations with regard to the “historical truth” and the devalorization of the report published by the independent experts of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
In the communique released on 26 September, a number of civil-society organizations and independent individuals notes that “the wave of denunciations has become the principal political crisis of the last decade, and it has left uncovered the networks of complicity that uphold the impunity of all the levels of government, all the parties, and to the deepest levels of the institutions. Beyond this, it has demonstrated the lack of capability of the State to respond effectively to said crisis. The parents of the disappeared have had to request independent investigations from other international institutions, such as the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.”
The parents of the disappeared have called for a General Popular Assembly for 16 October, to be held at the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College, where they will define the plan of action for the coming months. At the end of the protest, the government of Mexico City reported that 15,000 people participated in the march, and that 18,000 were present at the subsequent rally.
Beyond this, a delegation from the IACHR that arrived on Monday 28 September will be visiting the mountains of Iguala, Guerrero, where relatives of the disappeared have found clandestine graves. Mario Vergara, member of the organization that was founded after the search for the disappeared students yielded dozens of illegally buried corpses, observed that the intention has been that the delegation see the work performed by the families. “We want them to see something real, to see the work that we are doing and under what conditions […].” His organization has found more than 75 bodies and has located several sites to be investigated.
For more information (in Spanish):
A un año de Ayotzinapa, padres convocan a nueva asamblea general (Animal Político, 26 de septiembre de 2015)
La delegación de la CIDH visitará cerros de Iguala donde se han hallado fosas clandestinas (El Sur de Acapulco, 28 de septiembre de 2015)
Llovió la indignación y la solidaridad en el aniversario de Ayotzinapa (Información Sididh, 28 de septiembre de 2015)
Ayotzinapa pronunciamiento (sociedad civil, 26 de septiembre de 2015)
Sembraron balas en Cocula, acusan forenses (El Universal, 26 de septiembre de 2015)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Guerrero: Group of Experts on Ayotzinapa case presents its report 6 months on (13 September 2015)