You can read 19 more articles this month
ON SEPTEMBER 26, 2014, around 100 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College in Guerrero, Southern Mexico, were on their way to Mexico City to join an anniversary march in remembrance of those killed in the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre.
Without the transport or the funds to get themselves there, the students headed to the nearby town of Iguala, where they commandeered two buses.
Before leaving town, they were met by a police roadblock. In the ensuing clash, the police shot and killed three of the students and apprehended 43 of them, none of whom have been seen since.
The official investigation into the Ayotzinapa 43 concluded that the police handed the students over to the local cartels who likely killed them. No-one knows for sure what happened.
Though a number of people, including police officers and a former mayor of Iguala, have been arrested, the Mexican government has come under intense scrutiny for failing to investigate the involvement of the federal police or the military.
Forced disappearances are common in Mexico — as are arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial killings and torture at the hands of criminal gangs, the police and the military, all of which enjoy almost total impunity.
The official number of people forcibly disappeared in the country stands at over 34,000. To put that grim figure into some kind of context, General Augusto Pinochet’s Western-backed regime in Chile from 1973 to ’90 is thought to have disappeared over 3,200 people.
On July 1, Mexico goes to the ballot box to elect a new president in one of bloodiest periods in the country since the so-called Dirty War in the 1960s and ’70s.
Ahead of the general election this weekend, I caught up with Lupita Valdez of Justice Mexico Now, a campaign group working to raise awareness of the country’s human right crisis in Britain.
Ben Cowles is the Morning Star’s web editor. He can be reaches on Twitter via @Cowlesz.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.