News from Elsewhere
The pain, horror and rage over the crimes committed against Ayotzinapa students last September 26, in Iguala, Guerrero, have fostered national and international condemnation of criminal governments that plan to close all teacher-training schools — and do away with anybody they see as an obstacle to their plans.
On October 8, thousands of demonstrators took up the demands of the family and friends of the students killed and disappeared. In the streets of dozens of cities in Mexico and the world, the same chants could be heard: “You took them off alive, we want them back alive.” and “We want justice and we want it now.”
In Chiapas, Zapatistas marched in silence the same day and called for international protests.
In Mexico City, at least 20,000 people, maybe more, marched from the Angel of Independence to the Zocalo with banners and signs that read, “It’s Raining Rage in Ayotzinapa,” “Present the students alive,” “Aguirre, killer,” “Today it was Ayotzinapa students, tomorrow it might be you,” among other messages.
This time Miguel Mancera’s PRD government, anxious to wash its filthy face, realized its image might be damaged even more by calling out riot police to kettle, attack and arrest people, as it often does. With family members of the disappeared leading off, contingents of teacher-training school students and many student and social organizations marched to the Zocalo without any trouble. Once there, however, it was clear that there was no room for the protestors in the activities underway, so the rally was shunted aside to one corner of the plaza.
The families do not accept the government explanation that their children are probably the human remains found in mass graves on the outskirts of Iguala eight days after the massacre. They point out that for years, criminal groups have buried their victims in the same area and it could well be that the remains are those of others. They say they won’t know for sure if their children are there or not until they get the results of an independent investigation being carried out by Argentine forensic experts. The way they see it, their children are disappeared and they want them back home.
Although few people doubt the complicity of organized crime in the governments of Iguala Mayor José Luis Abarca Velázquez, now a fugitive, and in the PRD state government of Angel Aguirre, the families say that with or without drug cartel influence, the crimes against their children are crimes of state and crimes against humanity. They demand that the governments do what they haven’t done up until now: find their children and bring them back alive.
In the marches, the names of all the disappeared students were called out, one by one, as well those of students murdered by city police — Daniel Solís Gallardo, Julio César Ramírez Nava, and Julio Cesar Mondragón, whose face was skinned by torturers that also cut out his eyes, in an attack so sadistic that it will forever remain in the heart of the people — not to scare and silence us, as planned, but to heighten our rage a thousand times over.
Another name called out was that of Aldo Gutiérrez Solano – now brain dead in the hospital after being shot in the head by the same police in their attack against student buses last September 26.
And the names of other people shot down that night, perhaps by mistake, were also called out — the young soccer player of the Avispones (Wasps) team, David Josué García; bus driver Víctor Manuel Lugo Ortiz, and a woman in a nearby car, Blanca Montiel Sánchez.
Some of the cities in Mexico where protestors demanded justice and the return of the disappeared students are: Chilpancingo, Chihuahua, Lázaro Cárdenas, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mérida, Querétaro, Cd. Juárez, Zacatecas, Oaxaca, Playa del Carmen, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Orizaba, Tijuana, Monterrey, Cuernavaca, León, Villahermosa, Salina Cruz, Aguascalientes, Xalapa, Morelia, Valladolid, Torreón, Tecpan de Galeana, Tuxpan, Cancún, Puebla, Mazatlán, Durango, San Luis Potosí, Toluca, Pachuca, Hermosillo, Tehuacán, Culiacán, Irapuato, Poza Rica, Chetumal, Acapulco, San Miguel de Allende, and on the international scene, London, Madrid, Munich, Chicago and Los Angeles.See Also: Slideshow: Solidarity across Mexico with the Ayotzinapa students
Outraged by the new escalation of repression and criminalization of social protests, Indian Organizations for Human Rights in Oaxaca, OIDHO denounces the following facts:
Yesterday, October 2, 2014, after participating in a peaceful march to commemorate this historic date, at 7:30 PM on Valerio Trujano Street, Oaxaca, on the bus returning home eight members of the youth committee of our organization, one of them a minor and several human rights community advocates, were victims of arbitrary detention of the municipal and state police.
After being subjected to a brutal beating that outraged neighbors and passerbys, they were uploaded into two police vans and under constant physical and psychological abuse were taken to the facilities of the Department of Public (Un)Safety in San Bartolo Coyotepec. Following the intervention of our organization they were released at 6:30 AM, October 3, 2014.
We strongly protest this flagrant violation of the fundamental rights of our young colleagues and we will follow this up legally and politically. The treatment young people in social movements are receiving from the Mexican authoritarian state is totally unacceptable. It is an absurd witch-hunt that all police forces perform in the context of legitimate public demonstrations. Capturing the youth street by street is another police state method that aims to criminalize and frighten.
Our young people also witnessed multiple beatings and arbitrary arrests of university and normalista students [aspiring teachers] and included a large number of young women, whom police treated without regard and arrogant brutality. Also eyewitnesses confirmed to the facts that a large number of police elements were visibly intoxicated when performing their “work”, as the police called it. It’s also noteworthy that several youths were arrested while practicing journalism, because they took pictures and videos of the police abuses.
We know that the purpose of these so-called “operatives” is they want to deter generations to stop exercising their fundamental rights to free expression and freedom of organization.
We express our full solidarity with all young people who do not allow themselves to be terrorized and on the contrary, continue to organize and express their rejection of authoritarianism of the Mexican government, education and structural reforms seriously affecting the life and future of our youth.
In particular, we express our solidarity with the normalista community before the massive repression suffered in the state of Guerrero.
Therefore we DEMAND:
- A thorough investigation of police abuse and all violations of human rights in the context of October 2nd in Oaxaca.
- Clarification of the murders of young people in the state of Guerrero.
- The safe return of the missing student teachers in the state of Guerrero.
- Cease the witch-hunts and criminalization against all youth who participate in social movements or simply because they are young.
We call for the organization of creating broad alliances before the onslaught that the Mexican state and its masters, the owners of power and money, who are plotting against indigenous peoples, students and teachers, against the movement of human rights defenders, against unions, in short against the Mexican social movement as a whole. It’s time to join forces to defend the inalienable rights of all Mexicans and for a decent life with justice and freedom in a sovereign country.
Santa María Atzompa, October 3rd, 2014
ORGANIZACIONES INDIAS POR LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS EN OAXACA, OIDHO