PBI-Mexico present as thousands march to commemorate the 6th anniversary of the disappearance of the Ayotzinapa 43
On September 26, the Peace Brigades International-Mexico Project was present as thousands marched from the Angel of Independence (a prominent monument in downtown Mexico City) to the Zócalo (the main city square and seat of the federal government) to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the disappearance of 43 students.
On September 26, 2014, these students from a politically radical, poor, mostly Indigenous teachers’ college in the town of Ayotzinapa in the state of Guerrero, Mexico were forcibly disappeared from a bus in the city of Iguala (about 200 kilometres north-west of the school) while they were en route to Mexico City to commemorate the anniversary of the Tlatelolco massacre (in which the Mexican Armed Forces had killed hundreds of people who were protesting against the Olympics on October 2, 1968).
The Peace Brigades International-Mexico Project posted:
“Today marks 6 years since the disappearance of the 43 students of the rural Normal of Ayotzinapa (Guerrero). Over 6 years, mothers and fathers of the 43 have become a symbol of the fight for truth and justice, and against the impunity that Mexico gangrene.
With the support of the Tlachinollan Centro de Derechos Humanos de La Montaña, the Centro Prodh and other national and international organizations, it has been shown that the alleged ‘historical truth’ that resulted from the investigation of the Attorney General’s Office of the Republic (PGR) was a strategy to cover up those responsible for the disappearance of the students and shows the lack of political will that the Mexican government has had to respectfully and fairly address the issue of enforced disappearance.
6 years after this painful event, PBI stands in solidarity with the victims, mothers, fathers and family members, as well as all the people who continue to search for their disappearances, facing unbearable impunity, inspiringly, with strength and dignity.”
PBI-Mexico also shared this statement from the Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre that highlights that the Iguala Municipal Police had forcibly removed the students from the bus and took them near the Palacio de Justicia (Courthouse) in Iguala but that the external closed-circuit videos of what happened there have been taken.
Aljazeera now reports that 25 arrest warrants have been issued for the intellectual and material authors of the disappearance including police from various municipalities, federal police, members of the army, current and former officials from the federal prosecutor’s office, and people involved with organized crime.
That article also reports: “The highest-ranking official wanted in the case is Tomas Zeron, who at the time of the abduction was the head of the federal investigation agency. He is being sought on charges of torture and covering up forced disappearances.”
On June 29, Idle No More, Defenders of the Land and the Truth Before Reconciliation Campaign issued this open letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressing their solidarity with the families of the disappeared students and concern about media reports that Zeron may have fled to Canada in late 2019.
El Universal now reports that Zeron is in Israel.
PBI-Mexico has accompanied Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre, which accompanies the Ayotzinapa case, since 2003.