PBI-Canada attends Ottawa gathering for the 43 Ayotzinapa students disappeared in Mexico
On September 26, Peace Brigades International-Canada attended an Amnesty International-organized gathering in Ottawa to mark the 5th anniversary of the disappearance of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College in the state of Guerrero.
An 8-minute Facebook video of that gathering can be seen here.
The students were en route to Mexico City to observe the anniversary of the Tlatelolco Massacre in which the Mexican Army had killed hundreds of people at a large demonstration protesting against the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.
In terms of what happened to the students, NACLA reports that an independent body from the Inter-American Human Rights Commission found that, “the events of September 26 and 27 were coordinated actions between several government agencies, with the direct participation of at least the federal, state, and municipal police, and organized crime.”
That report also established the involvement of the Mexican Army.
That said, five years later the whereabouts of the students is unknown, those responsible for their disappearance have not been sanctioned, and those who have obstructed justice in the investigation have not been held accountable.
Peace Brigades International has noted, “The families of the 43 students, the current students of the School of Ayotzinapa and the organisations that accompany them – among them the Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre whose members receive PBI accompaniment – have suffered intimidation and threats.”
This 10-minute PBI video interview with Maria Luisa Aguilar of the Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre tells of the calls the Centre received from some of the students on the day of the attack against them and highlights that the students were political activists.
Furthermore, WOLA has commented, “This tragic case has become emblematic of the broader disappearance crisis plaguing Mexico.”
It notes, “In addition to the 43 Ayotzinapa students, the vast majority of the more than 47,000 registered disappearance cases currently active in Mexico remain unresolved, leaving families across the country desperately searching for answers about the fate of their missing loved ones.”
PBI-Mexico has posted, “PBI accompanies organisations from the Movement for our Disappeared People as well as the National Campaign against Forced Disappearance in Mexico who fight for the recognition of the problem of forced disappearance in Mexico and so that the voices of the victims are heard and included in the designing of public policies which address the topic.”
PBI-Canada extends its solidarity to all those families who are seeking justice and the return of their disappeared loved ones.