Missing in Mexico


Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Caroline Albacete ‘17 and Jordan Schmitt ‘18, Arts and Entertainment Editor and Staff Writer

On September 26, 2014, as protests led by students broke out in Hong Kong, another group of students were on their way to their own demonstration in Iguala, Mexico. None of these Mexican students have be seen again.

On a fateful September day, 43 students from the Mexican rural school of Raúl Isidro Burgos Normal School in Ayotzinapa prepared to travel to the city of Iguala. Once there, the students planned to participate in commemoration ceremonies for scholars killed by the Mexican government in 1968. Nothing went according to plan. As soon as the students were shuttled off the bus in Iguala, Mexican police opened fire on them, killing six bystanders and loading the 43 students into police cars.  These students have not been seen or heard of since the tragic accident.

Federal government officials investigating the case eventually found evidence linking Jose Luis Abarca, the mayor of Iguala, to the disappearance of the students. They were also able to connect a drug gang called Los Guerreros Unidos (The United Warriors) to the incident. Federal government officers suspect that Abarca was the mastermind behind the plot, and convinced the police who held the students captive to hand them over to the drug gang.

As of December 6, nothing is certain, but there has been one confirmed death. Alexander Mora Venancio, age 19, who was one of the missing students, was confirmed dead by forensic specialists after comparing his body’s DNA to that of his father and brother. His charred remains were found dumped by a garbage pile in Cocula, along with several other bodies that have yet to be identified.

After the disappearance of the students, the Mexican people’s trust in their government quickly dissipated.  Demonstrations sprang up around the country and a march to the capitol ended with this message: “Fue el Estado.” (“It was the government”). Social media sites spread the message and hashtags such as #YaMeCanse (Enough, I’m tired) fueled the fire. The parents of the missing students support the protests and hold out hope that their children are still alive, yelling at the government: “They took them alive, we want them back alive!”

Although word about the case may seem to be dwindling, hope is not lost that these students may be recovered and rescued. Citizens in Mexico are still searching for their beloved students. Some people have found supposed proof that the government was anticipating the kidnapping.  This case is a complicated one with many different factors to keep in mind, but hope is not yet lost for the 43 students.

Here’s a link to an article written by a Mexican protester: