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Occupy SMA Ayotzinapa


By Cliff Durand

Most of us are aware of the kidnapping on September 26, 2014, of the 43 freshman students from the Ayotzinapa normal school in the Guerrero town of Iguala. They were abducted by local authorities, never to be seen again.

The US-based Human Rights Watch criticized the “faltering investigations overseen by the

Mexican government … as a crime that has shocked the world … and a tragedy which has changed the distorted perception that the human rights situation has been improving in Mexico since President Peña Nieto took power in 2012.” A video of the incident mysteriously disappeared.

Amnesty International accused the government of “failing to follow up key lines of investigation, manipulating evidence, protecting officials suspected of involvement into the enforced disappearances, and torturing of alleged suspects to secure confessions.” The experts were denied a request from the families to extend their mandate and continue with their investigation.

“There seems to be no limit to the Mexican government’s utter determination to sweep the Ayotzinapa tragedy under the carpet,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

Many of us visiting and living here are no longer surprised or shocked. We love Mexico and its people and wish that the US government under Bush and Obama had never funded this war on drugs, which has killed over 100,000 people and cost US$3 billion of taxpayers’ money. The US media has criticized the “official version of Ayotzinapa as not being historical.” Chief among these is the influential weekly The New Yorker and their 7-part series available online by Francisco Goldman.

The United Nations’ Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) called on the Mexican government to create a national registry of the forced disappearances and the formation of a special unit to search for the disappeared. Officially, the whereabouts of more than 27,000 people remain unknown.

When Alejandro G. Inarritu won the Oscar for Best Director for Birdman in 2015, he said, “I want to dedicate this award to my fellow Mexicans, the ones who live in Mexico. I pray that we can find and build the government that we deserve.” Neither Televisa nor Azteca TV broadcast his remarks. Francisco Goldman of The New Yorker quotes: “Father Alejandro Solalinde, the leading human rights and oppositional civic voice in Mexico, who likes to say, reimagine … reinvent. I am talking about a peaceful revolution …. We have to inform people and contribute to organizing from below and do it without hiding. We should be openly subversive and say to the system: we don’t want you… from below we are going to organize in order to reinvent this bad government.”

For those unfamiliar with the details of the event, Occupy will show a film, and Mexican activist Gabriela Osorio will give us an update about this tragedy. We will remember the missing by reading their names.


Film and Memorial

Occupy SMA presents:

Ayotzinapa: We Will Never Forget the 43

Mon, Sep 25, 1pm

Quinta Loreto Hotel, TV room

Loreto 15, Centro



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