The killings and kidnappings rocking Mexico


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Protesters demand justice for the missing students from Ayotzinapa in Mexico

TENS OF thousands of people marched throughout Mexico on October 9, to demand justice for 43 missing students from the Normal Rural School at Ayotzinapa. The student teachers were last seen being herded onto buses after police killed six of them in two shooting incidents.

The marches came amid the discovery of several shallow mass graves near the location where the student teachers were last seen. The graves contain dozens of burned and maimed bodies—Mexican authorities say months of DNA testing may be necessary to determine their identities.

But the discovery has led to shock and horror across all of Mexico, fixing the nation’s attention on the plight of the missing students now feared murdered in the most brazen act of political violence in more than a generation.

In Mexico City, parents and students from the teachers’ college in Ayotzinapa led the October 9 mass demonstration as protesters carried signs and banners with the names of the missing students and crosses with the names of those killed in the police shooting, which also left 25 injured. Many are using the slogan “Hasta encontrarlos” (“Until we find them”) in their organizing efforts and as an expression of hope that some of the students may still be alive.

Parents of the victims and other students suspect that police turned over the 43 missing students to the local criminal organization Guerreros Unidos. Recent investigations indicate that Guerreros Unidos has ties to local politicians, including the mayor of Iguala, who has been in hiding since the shootings took place.

An international outcry has forced the federal government to send in the army and federal police to look for the missing students. More than 20 police, as well as some Guerreros Unidos members, have already been taken into custody, but have yet to face criminal charges over the murders and kidnappings.

While authorities work to identify the bodies and locate the Iguala mayor, protests, mobilizations and blockades continue across the country. The left wing of the national teachers’ union and the rural teachers’ colleges have called for an indefinite strike until the missing students are found.

The Raúl Isidro Burgos Normal Rural School at Ayotzinapa is near Chilpancingo, the capital of the state of Guerrero. The school is a teachers’ college established in 1926 as part of a national program to train teachers and extend public education to rural communities throughout Mexico. During the presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas in the 1930s, a socialist curriculum was adopted throughout the school system.

Although the curriculum was slowly phased out at other schools, Ayotzinapa is one of the few schools that preserved it. The school is well known for this left-wing legacy, and some of Mexico’s best-known radical leaders and guerrilla fighters, including Lucio Cabañas Barrientos and Genaro Vázquez Rojas, studied there. Thus, the government often refers to the school as a “breeding ground for guerrillas.”

The school has a strong tradition of resistance and a militant student union. The Federation of Socialist Rural Students of Mexico (FESCSM) organizes the curriculum and runs the school together with teachers. Chronic underfunding, however, has threatened the Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa. For years, the FECSEM has fought for more funding and opposed efforts to reform the school and its curriculum, often blockading highways and clashing with police.

Graduates from Ayotzinapa have also been the backbone of the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE)—the left-wing section of the national teacher’s union—in Guerrero state, where opposition to the neoliberal education reform agenda of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) has been strongest.

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STUDENTS FROM the Normal School at Ayotzinapa are no strangers to harassment by police, given their history of resistance, but the attack they suffered on Friday, September 26, is unprecedented. Police violence on this scale hasn’t been seen in Mexico since the massacre of Tlatelolco when army forces killed and disappeared university students on the eve of the 1968 Olympics.

It is difficult to establish exactly what took place on the night of the 26th. Testimonies from survivors have only begun to surface via social media, radio interviews, YouTube channels and online news websites in the last week. However, the general picture that has emerged is deeply disturbing.

During the day, student teachers converged on the city of Iguala to raise funds to attend an upcoming student congress. They canvassed the city, stood on street corners and went from house to house, collecting donations in cans. The activists also made their way to the Iguala’s central plaza, where the mayor’s wife was holding a political event, but local police barred the students from entering, so the students retreated to the bus station.

Once at the bus station, the student teachers seized three buses from a local bus company and convinced the drivers to cooperate with them. As the students left the bus station, several police vehicles followed them, and once they reached the outskirts of the city, the police blocked the road and surrounded them. Then a small group from the bus at the front of the caravan got off to negotiate with police to let them through.

Chaos ensued. Without warning, police opened fire on the caravan of buses, shooting at the students who had gotten off to negotiate and directly at the bus windows. The student teachers scattered to seek cover from the gunfire.

When the shooting stopped, the activists began exiting the buses with their hands in the air, telling police that they were students, and that some of their classmates had been injured and were bleeding badly. Police opened fire again.

Again, students sought cover—on the ground, between and under the buses. Once the shooting stopped for a second time, 17 students had been injured, three critically. Police then corralled 43 of the students into police trucks and took them from the scene. The students left behind called an ambulance for the injured, and one police truck even escorted the ambulance to the hospital.

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AS SOON as the police left, people from the neighborhood began helping the students, treating wounds and offering support. Local teachers began calling newspapers, and the student teachers reached out to their classmates to join them for a press conference.

Meanwhile, in another part of Iguala, police confused a bus belonging to a local third-division soccer team, the Avispones of Chilpancingo, with the buses of the student teachers and attacked it, killing three people—one soccer player, the bus driver and a woman who was passing by.

It was midnight by the time the press conference began. Several media outlets were present, and there was a strong turnout from teachers and townspeople. A large group of students from Ayotzinapa had also made their way to Iguala—two hours away—to join their classmates.

But the worst was yet to come. While the press conference was underway, an unmarked pickup truck and a police vehicle showed up and immediately opened fire on the crowd gathered at the scene. Two students died instantly, and as the crowd scattered, the gunmen directed their fire straight at the students attempting to escape.

After this second shooting, the survivors recounted a harrowing scene. In his testimony, Omar García, a survivor of the second shooting, said he and his classmates ran towards the city as soon as the unmarked vehicle opened fire. Soldiers from a military convoy stopped them a few blocks away, and when the students asked for help, the soldiers told them: “Shut up, shut up. You were looking for trouble. You wanted to confront them. Well, face them. Face them and handle it.”

Marcos explained how he and a few classmates carried a student named Edgar, who was badly injured from a bullet that entered his cheek and shattered his teeth, into the city. Taxi drivers refused to give them a ride, and when they finally found a hospital, health care workers were afraid to help them since they feared for their lives as well.

After helping to ease the bleeding and stabilize Edgar, the nurses left the hospital, and Marco and his classmates remained there until 2 a.m., when a group of soldiers burst in with their guns drawn. These soldiers also refused to help them and left. At about 3 a.m., they forced a taxi driver to take Edgar to another hospital. Marco and the rest of his group then sought refuge at a vacant lot, waiting for dawn while rain soaked them.

When morning broke, the students began to regroup at the local police precinct to demand the release of the 43 classmates taken in the police trucks the night before. Police, however, told them that nobody was being held in custody and no arrests had been made the night before. Looking for answers, students returned to the scene of the shooting. There, they found the body of Julio César Mondragón, one of the students taken by police the night before. His face had been flayed, and his eyes had been removed from his eye sockets.

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THE SHOOTINGS in Iguala and the case of the disappeared students from Ayotzinapa have shaken all of Mexico. Pressure from parents and classmates of the missing students have led to a political crisis in the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).

Historically, the PRD was an opposition party to the PRI, now back in power again under President Enrique Peña Nieto. But the PRD party has degenerated considerably over the last two decades. For example, Guerrero Gov. Ángel Aguirre Ribero belongs to the PRD, and his administration has been tainted by a series of political scandals linked to corruption and organized crime.

Iguala Mayor José Luis Abarca Velázquez also belongs to the PRD and has been in hiding since the shootings took place. The left wing of the PRD in Guerrero had pressed charges against him back in 2013 for his associations with the Beltrán Leyva drug cartel, but the general prosecutor’s office never followed up on the accusations. New investigations now link him to the criminal organization Guerreros Unidos.

Despite recent events in Iguala, the national director of the PRD has yet to call on Aguirre Ribero to step down from his post. Instead, Aguirre Ribero has vehemently denied any responsibility for the events in Iguala and has called for a statewide referendum if he is to step down.

Meanwhile, President Peña Nieto’s response to the crisis in Iguala has been less than inspiring. On October 9, while thousands of people marched in the streets of Mexico City to demand justice for Ayotzinapa students, Peña Nieto was in Monterrey inaugurating a sports complex and taking selfies with the crowd.

The PRI undoubtedly hopes to take advantage of the political crisis shaking the PRD in the wake of the Iguala shootings. But the 43 missing student teachers and the nine mass graves so far discovered also reflect poorly on the president and his party, since they have tried to push the issue of violence and security to the margins while courting foreign investment with new neoliberal reforms.

Furthermore, the PRI finds itself in a political bind after student strikers at the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) rejected a government “non-offer” to resolve their grievances at the increasingly privatized public institution. Protests by striking students at the IPN have begun to fuse with other protest movements, including those seeking justice at Ayotzinapa.

The Insurgent People’s Revolutionary Army (ERPI) guerrilla group has also thrown its support behind the student teachers from Ayotzinapa and has created a special brigade to “settle accounts” with the Guerreros Unidos criminal organization.

Thus, the political panorama of Mexico has become increasingly complex. An array of social movements and struggles are developing organic connections while corrupt and ineffective politicians offer nothing more than empty rhetoric—or worse.

For now, though, all eyes are on Guerrero, where the cry of grief and rage rings louder than ever: They were taken alive, and we want them back alive!

Text Source:- http://socialistworker.org/2014/10/14/killings-and-kidnappings-rock-mexico
See also:-
http://socialistworker.org/2014/10/22/mexico-students-keep-up-the-fight

Photo Sources:- Just randomly collected images depicting the protests since the students disappeared

Youth march against capitalism at World Business Forum

By David Card

New York — The capitalist class held an event at New York’s Radio City Music Hall on Oct. 7-8 called the World Business Forum. Five thousand of the richest CEOs and bankers met there to share their experiences in how to slash benefits, lower wages and bust unions.

Outraged by this display of vast wealth in a time of prolonged crisis for the working class, Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST), a militant youth organization, decided to cut to the heart of the issue and called for a march against the entire system that allows for such crimes — capitalism itself.

Young revolutionaries from New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore met in Columbus Circle before the march with signs, banners and flags. Notable were several flags from the former Soviet Union and even one from the anti-fascist group Union Borotba, which is currently fighting in eastern Ukraine. Some protesters held up images of Che Guevara to honor this revolutionary internationalist on the anniversary of his death. Some signs read, “The real enemy is on Wall St.!”

Photo by Joe Piette

Amnesty International Petition: Justice for Ayotzinapa

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Sign Amnesty International’s petition (in Spanish) here:

http://www.alzatuvoz.org/normalistas/

Information from Amnesty in English:

DOCUMENT – MEXICO: FURTHER INFORMATION: DISAPPEARED STUDENTS STILL MISSING IN MEXICO

Further information UA: 246/14 Index: AMR 41/039/2014 Mexico Date: 7 October 2014

URGENT ACTION

disappeared students still missing in mexico

The 43 disappeared students are still missing after being fired at by police and later attacked by unknown individuals in Iguala, Guerrero state. Twenty-eight bodies have been found in unmarked mass graves near Iguala, but their identities remain unclear and the search for those abducted continues.

The 43 students remain disappeared since 26 September in the city of Iguala, Guerrero state, southern Mexico. Around 25 of them had been arrested by municipal police, while those remaining were abducted by unidentified armed men operating with the acquiescence of local authorities, a few hours later. All missing students are victims of enforced disappearances. On 5 October Guerrero state officials found six unmarked mass graves near Iguala, apparently as a result of information provided by some of the 22 municipal police presently under arrest. At least 28 bodies have been exhumed, but forensic tests will have to be carried out in order to identify the remains. It is not yet clear if the bodies are those of the abducted students. On the basis of a petition from representatives of relatives of victims, independent international forensic experts are assisting with the identification process.

The Federal Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de la República, PGR) has taken up the investigation into the unmarked graves and the identification of the dead bodies. However, the investigation into the enforced disappearances and murder of six others on 26 September, including establishing the whereabouts of the 43 students, remains with the Guerrero state Attorney General’s Office despite allegations of possible links with criminal groups and its repeated failure to carry out effective investigations into grave human rights violations. The seriousness of these enforced disappearances and killings couple with the involvement of organized criminal groups are grounds for the PGR to claim jurisdiction in the cases, but so far it has stopped short of doing so.

Please write immediately in Spanish, English or your own language:

Urging the Federal Attorney General (PGR) to assume full responsibility for the investigation into the enforced disappearance of 43 students in order to establish their whereabouts promptly, ensure their physical and mental safety and bring those responsible to justice;

Urging the PGR to carry out a full, prompt and impartial investigation into the killing of six people on 26 September and the wounding of many others at the hands of Iguala municipal police and unidentified armed men;

Calling on the authorities to keep the relatives of all victims adequately informed and give them support and protection in accordance with their wishes, including supporting the work of international forensic experts;

Calling for a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the attack and abduction of students on 26 September, including the repeated failure of state and federal authorities to investigate frequent reports of collusion between local public officials and criminal gangs.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 18 NOVEMBER 2014 TO:

Minister of Interior

Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong

Secretario de Gobernación

Bucareli 99, col. Juárez, C.P. 6600, México D.F., México

Fax: +52 55 5093 3414 (keep trying)

Email: secretario@segob.gob.mx

Twitter: @osoriochong

Salutation: Dear Minister / Estimado Ministro

Attorney General

Jesús Murillo Karam

Procuraduría General de la República

Reforma 211-213, Col. Cuauhtémoc, C.P. 06500, Mexico City, Mexico

Fax: +52 55 5346 0908

Email: ofproc@pgr.gob.mx or click here

Twitter: @PGR_mx

Salutation: Dear Attorney General / Estimado Señor Procurador

And copies to:

Local human rights organization

Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña “Tlachinollan”

Email: accion.urgente@tlachinollan.org

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 246/14. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR41/038/2014/en

URGENT ACTION

disappeared students still missing in mexico

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Some 500 students attend the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teacher Training College (Escuela Normal Rural Raúl Isidro Burgos) in the town of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero state, some 300km south of Mexico City. They receive training to become primary school teachers in rural communities. Some of the local inhabitants are of Indigenous origin. In general, these communities – and the students themselves – are poor and suffer from high levels of discrimination, marginalization and lack of access to basic services.

The students at the rural training college are also politically active and they have staged many demonstrations in relation to rural teachers, education policy and other political issues. Acts of violence have been reported in some of these demonstrations, and public authorities have frequently blamed the student teachers. The training colleges have frequently been starved of resources in recent years as rural education has not been a priority.

In December 2011 Ayotzinapa students who were protesting on the main highway outside Chilpancingo, the state capital, were attacked by state and federal police resulting in three deaths, two of them students. At least 24 people suffered torture and other ill-treatment. Those police and superiors responsible for the abuses against students have never been held to account, encouraging a climate of impunity. Amnesty International has highlighted this case many times, most recently in its report Out of control: Torture and other ill-treatment in Mexico(http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR41/020/2014/en).

Arbitrary detention, torture and other forms of ill-treatment are widespread and persistent across Mexico. Most cases take place in the context of criminal investigations in which those arrested are tortured in order to extract “confessions” or “information”. Those implicated in torture, including police, army and navy, are very rarely brought to justice, with just seven convictions recorded to date at the federal level. Torture victims frequently face insurmountable challenges to prove their cases, including official forensic examinations which are rarely applied in time and in line with international human rights standards.

Abduction and disappearances remain routine in Mexico with public officials often acting in collusion with criminal gangs. The 43 students who have been forcibly disappeared since 26 September are part of the more than 22,000 cases of people who are missing or disappeared in Mexico and whose whereabouts remain unknown, according to government figures released in August 2014. The government has repeatedly failed to explain how they have calculated this figure, as well as any further information about those cases. It is unknown how many of those people have been victims of enforced disappearances in which public officials are directly or indirectly involved. In 2013 the Federal Attorney General’s Office set up a specialized unit to investigate cases of abductions and disappearances and establish the whereabouts of victims. To date, they have not released any detailed information regarding its effectiveness. For further information see Confronting a nightmare: Disappearances in Mexico(http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR41/025/2013/en).

Source:- https://dorsetchiapassolidarity.wordpress.com/

19 GIFS for Your Long Day at School

1. When your alarm wakes you up and you press snooze.

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2. As you run across campus to your 8AM class.

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3. When you try to understand lecture but you’re half asleep.

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4. When you finally get to pull out your mid-morning snack.

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5. “Productive study time” between morning classes.

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6. When you make a remarkably intelligent comment in class.

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7. When it’s LUNCH TIME!

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8. When you check a ton of really small items off your To Do list.

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9. Waiting for your last class to get out.

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10. When you prepare for serious homework-doing time…

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11. …But have to resist checking social media.

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12. When you find the perfect homework playlist.

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13. When you get in the study zone.

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14. And, to your surprise, the time flies by.

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15. When your hungry stomach is so loud it imitates the mating call of a beluga whale. 

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16. You know what time it is.

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(At 9:45pm.)

17. How you leave campus.

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18. When you finally eat dinner.

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19. And collapse after an exhausting day.

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Trust us, libraries get it. On your busiest days, work fast and smart with library resources like research guides, computer labs, free database access, subject librarians… and of course, free books!

Sending anon hate because someone is otherkin or a fictive is cruel and cowardly. If it makes them happy and doesn't affect you, leave them alone!

Nobody deserves anon hate. Just stop it. You don’t know what is going on in someone’s real life and the internet might be the one place they feel safe to express who they really are.

If you’re getting anon hate for being otherkin or a fictive, just know you’re awesome for being your true self and you’re far braver than the rude person hiding behind the anon feature. <3

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Powerful photos capture the student protests in Mexico barely anyone is talking about 

While the world has focused its attention on the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, there’s another student movement gaining steam on the other side of the world.

The unfolding protests gripping Mexico began in the small town of Iguala, in the southwest region of Guerrero state, where the disappearance of 43 student teachers on the night of Sept. 26 has sparked outrage amid allegations of collaboration between local police and organized crime.

October 14  2014 - Teachers in the Mexican state of Guerrero clashed with police and set city hall ablaze Monday in the city of Chilpancingo, calling for greater action over the disappearance of 43 students in September. It is widely believed they were taken by police and handed over to a drug cartel with ties to local government. [video]

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Mexican Students Demand Justice for Missing Normalistas of Ayotzinapa

Thousands of Mexican college and high school students gathered on Wednesday to demand justice for the 43 missing normalistas of Ayotzinapa. At more than 30 universities and high schools nationwide, students held rallies in a show of solidarity for those missing, with many reading the names and displaying the photos of the missing normalistas.

Several hundred met later at PGR (Attorney General) headquarters in downtown Mexico City where many expressed their sorrow and anger with performance pieces and loud chants directed at government officials. Some in attendance broke office windows.

While some in the international press have forgotten about this story, Mexican students haven’t. They’re standing up for their fellow student, but most of all, their brother Mexican!

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest on the students of Aytozinapa

Photos credits: La Jornada, Proceso

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