The represion yet to come in Guerrero Print

More than a year has passed by since the still not recognized state crime state happened in which 43 rural students and soon to be teachers Guerrero were disappeared.  Five elements of the Mexican state's security apparatus participated: the army, the federal police, the municipal police of Cocula and Iguala, and the CISEN (Center for research and national security).

As the crime became known, hundreds of thousands took to the streets demanding truth and justice for the families of the 43 students, who are still disappeared.

It was as if all the outrage which had been simmering up throughout the years with disappearance after disapearance finally had a way to be vocalized.  The 43 became the banner. People furiously pointed out that the federal, state, and local governments had participated and demanded Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto resign.

While the U.S. government continues supporting President Peña Nieto, people from both countries and  all over the world have joined the call to ask for justice to both governments.

The United State has recently cut off 15% of the funding of aid to Mexico over human rights problems, acting as the worried big brother who takes care of its little brother and punishes it when necessary. However, millions upon millions of funding is still coming, so the Drug War continues as usual.

The Mexican state seems to have done its duty by allowing the Inter-American Comission on Human Rights to investigate the crime; however, they refused to let them interview the Mexican military in relation to the disappearances despite requests.

Currently, the government wants to turn around the story and close the case without ever doing justice.  Their current version suggests the Ayotzinapa students are colluded with drug traffickers and "deserved and are responsible for what happened to them."  Nothing could be farther from the truth.

During the elections in Guerrero in June 2015, ten months after the disappearence of the students, their parents called for a boycott of the elections.  Those elections were one of the most bloody and militarized elections in the state, with many people boycotting and some election sites never installed.  The government claimed  Hector Astudillo, a "priista" close to the President who will carefully follow all orders given with no excuse, to be the new governor of Guerrero.  He took office in the presence of the security cabinet.

The new Governor announced what he described as the new security strategy of the state:  more military, and a "single police command" for the state police forces.  Alejandro Saveedra Hernandez, the military officer who was in charge of the 27th batallion of Iguala when the attacks agains students took place, is in charge of implementing that new strategy.  ALL the security forces of Guerrero are at his command, and he was in charge of them during the most recent attack against Ayotzinapa students that occured this past Tuesday, November 10, 2015. 

The attack occurred after the students were returning from Chilpancingo (the capital of the state) to Tixla (where the Ayotzinapa school is located) after demanding justice for their missing compañeros . Current Ayotzinapa students claim "we will continue to realize activities until they(the government) return our compañeros, until this moment no justice has been done." This time the activity consisted in retaining gas tanks, and it should be noted that Astudillo, the new Guerrero gobernor is owner of many gas stations in Chilpancingo.

This time the state police was in charge of the attack. It started with the police firing tear gas inside the busses the students were in, then beating the students to the point to break their bones, threatening to kill and torture them, and violently removing their pants.  Others were put into the police patrol vehicles as their backs were burned with cigarretes. During the attack some students ran to the mountains to escape the police.

At approximately 11pm after a roll call students announced that there were no missing students and that the 13 students who were detained were already released. The result of this furious and brutal police attack were five students who suffered fractures in different parts of the body.

After the attack some of the students claimed that this was another phase of state repression that was just starting. They declared that they will continue to stand in firm, in solidarity and alonside with the parents of their missing compañeros. "Their demands are our demands."  Together the parents and the remaining students demand:

"Presentation with life of the missing students, truth and justice, and investigation of the army."

With the new Governor's security strategy it seems the state is ready to be use force against students, and that they will continue to be criminalized to try to delegitimize their demands.

In December 2014,  the U.S Ambassador to Mexico, Anthony Wayne, visited Guerrero to meet with the Governor at the time, Rogelio Ortega, to discuss ways to address the security problems in the state through the Merida Initiative.

With militarization and more military and police repression the state's solution, many fear what is yet to come in Guerrero.  As the students and parents continue demanding justice, let us not remove our gaze from Guerrero.