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
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.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?
|Day of the Dead, Mourning 43 lost lives|
© Ana M. Fores Tamayo
I look at those faces — the boys behind that iconic 43 now — and I understand that they are what we should be mourning first, and only then should we take up the symbol of what they have become: seeds for the future.
That makes me shudder, but I try to believe that people will not forget.
We should never forget the boys behind the symbol.
|Best photo ever of 43 snowmen in Switzerland!|
"43 Ayotzinapa: where are you?"
This is the same message that artist Jess Chen communicated through her piece:
She was kind enough to let us use this poignant image and message for our online event at the end of the year, when we presented the mothers and students of Ayotzinapa for the first time to the United States public back in the beginning of December."Trataron de enterrarnos; no sabían que éramos semillas. They tried to bury us; they didn’t know we were seeds."
|Just Seeds, Ayotzinapa, by Jess X. Chen|
BUT the real beauty of this black & white engraving is that the letters are actual figures of people: it was amazing what this artist did, the sensibility of these boys' lost lives: she felt their emotion in each stroke, in each figure, and she captured each letter and made it human.
Indeed, the Mexican government feels forever easy blaming a scapegoat, even down to condemning the mayor of Iguala if it needs to, or letting the Mexico City Police Chief resign, so that it will not let out its other dirty little secrets.
Though only one out of 43 bodies has been found, they have declared the 43 students dead. The government has closed the case. They want no more questions asked, although Human Rights groups say this action is unthinkable.
AND the United States remains silent.
Do you not wonder, as an aside, why we never talk about the indigenous communities in Canada? I believe it is probably for similar reasons; we do not want to draw attention to all the dirty digging we are doing in Canada too, in direct violation of the indigenous tribes of the north.
We need to get rid of borders, all borders... between adjunct faculties, adjunct populations, between marginalized peoples and all those who think they are on top: physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, intellectual...
We need besos, not borders, Ana/Adjunct Justice