43 Students Disappeared in Mexico after Police Attack Protests Print

43 students who were protesting discriminatory hiring practices for teachers in Mexico have disappeared at the hands of the Mexican police and are feared to have been handed over by the police to drug cartels or criminal gangs to be executed. Six burial pits have been found on the outskirts of the town where the protesting students were disappeared and relatives are awaiting the results of DNA testing to identify the bodies. On September 26, these now disappeared students along with many others from the Aytozinapa teacher training school in the state of Guerrero, Mexico, had been protesting when the police started shooting at the buses they were on.  Six students were murdered and many more were taken into police custody, never to be seen again. One student who mananged to escape describes how the police “were hitting the students as they took them. People were also scared about being shot so they gave themselves up. 'They thought they would just be arrested. But something else awaited them.'” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2782934/Mexicos-president-vows-miscreants-responsible-massacre.html

These 43 students have never been seen again. Their families have been protesting across Guerrero, demanding that their children be returned alive, as they were taken from them. But many fear that the students were handed over by the police to a criminal gang to be executed. Others were also murdered when the police shot at an unrelated bus carrying a soccer team. The massacre of the student activists ocurred just a week before the 46th anniversary of the Tlatelolco massacre of October 2, 1968, when the Mexican military massacred dozens of student protestors in Mexico City ten days before the Olympics were to take place. This year, tens of thousands of students turned out in protests and marches across Mexico on the anniversary of the Tlatelolco massacre, demanding the return of the 43 disappeared students. On their way home from the marches, 8 young people in Oaxaca were arbitrarily detained and beaten by the police and then held overnight before being released. http://elenemigocomun.net/2014/10/denouncing-arbitrary-detention-youth/

Thes actions are not isolated events. Police brutality against protests in Mexico is well-known as are the connections between the police and drug trafficking and criminal gangs. As a Truth Out article on Mexico explained, “torture pervades Mexican governmental and criminal forces and, for civilians, the lines between law enforcement and criminals is too murky to navigate.”  http://truth-out.org/news/item/9685-the-school-of-the-americas-the-cia-and-the-us-condoned-cancer-of-torture-continues-to-spread-in-latin-america-including-mexico The collaboration between Mexican security forces, cartels, and criminal gangs is one of the reasons why the US pouring millions of dollars into the Mexican government to fight drug trafficking will not work and is used to instead repress protests and murder innocent civilians. The Governor of Guerrero told Reuters that he had no doubt the drug cartels together with the police murdered the disappeared students. The state prosector reported that “elements of the municipal police are part of organised crime” and that his office was searching for the Mayor of Iguala, who has been on the run since the incident. However, this is the not the first time the government had been alerted to accusations of local authorities murdering activists in the area; the Mayor was accussed of murdering three activists in May 2013 but nothing was ever done. The wife of one of those kidnapped, tortured, and murdered in May 2013 denounced that it is precisely this impunity that has allowed the murders to continue. http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2014/10/07/politica/009n1pol

Police corruption is often used as an excuse for bringing in the military or militarizing the police. http://www.latimes.com/world/mexico-americas/la-fg-mexico-students-20141008-story.html  But the massacre of the students comes just shortly after an expose revealing how the Mexican military brutally murdered 22 people and covered up the massacre by reporting they died in a confrontation. http://www.latimes.com/world/mexico-americas/la-fg-murder-charges-mexican-soldiers-questions-20141001-story.html As the US continues training and funding Mexican security forces, including the training of Mexican soldiers at WHINSEC and the training of Mexican police at the ILEA, all in the name of the drug war, more and more Mexican civilians are winding up dead.