Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Boys Behind the Symbol: Ayotzinapa

Where are the Ayotzinapa 43?

I first mentioned Ayotzinapa when I wrote about the tragedy of September 26th, 2014 in my other blog. Our loose group of grassroots activists had the first online encounter with the normalistas from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers' College, who had 43 students go missing from Iguala, in the state of Guerrero, Mexico.  

So, as I have been saying for some time now — after the 43 students of Ayotzinapa were disappeared — and after the government tried to quiet the parents with bribes and threats and impunity and all sorts of bully tactics (which adjunct faculty know only too well!), some of the parents decided that the next step was to come to the United States to seek justice and awareness for their cause.

Some of the other parents decided to go to Europe, that way raising awareness worldwide.

The president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, came and went to the United States at the beginning of January to also ask for assistance for the opposite cause — to have us help him get his government back under his control. What kind of control would you call that when almost 10,000 deaths have been reported in his administration alone, even when Mexico was already rampant with dirty drug wars, crime, corruption?

Yet still the parents and remaining students persisted, as is their right.

"We want our children back: give us the truth! Vivos se los llevaron; vivos los queremos. Alive they were taken; alive we want them back."

In DC, on January 6th protesting Peña Nieto's visit to the United States
© Ana M. Fores Tamayo
    I went to DC when Peña Nieto was here at the beginning of January, and it seemed quite the farce, all the antics both governments played together. What have we come to when our government condones the actions of a corrupt regime? Are we in league with the devil? Are we the devil? Why are we so eager to downplay the obvious ties to an unscrupulous system, a narco-government that gives no value to human life?
One of the things I ponder as I look through all the photographs and videos of the parents of the disappeared, is how venerated these students have become, yet how human they still remain.